Tuesday, December 29, 2009

2009 and 2010

There was some crappy stuff that happened in 2009, but I thought I'd just jot down the highlights of my personal year.

My dad came to visit a couple of times and that is always fun.

I coached my last baseball season for Ozzy Jr. It wasn't our best season ever, but it was one with a bunch of great kids and parents.

My oldest daughter Ashlee got a very good job doing what she was trained to do, and she is happy.

My other daughter Kelsey continues to do well in school and she has a new boyfriend that we like.

I went to brew school.

I won the random drawing at the brewing science festival here in town.

I've had good renters in both my houses all year and very few maintenance calls.

I thought I would have finished my back tattoo, but no.

We got our best dog ever. And our most destructive.

So, 2010 is barely 4 days old and I have already totally screwed up hugely not once but twice. First, I tried to run some moist grain through my grain mill and tore up the main roller. I heard a lot of breweries were doing this to get a better yeild from more than one source. I guess I didn't execute properly. Second, I just realized this morning that we scheduled a vacation to Colorado this month, but we scheduled it on a week where there is no way on this planet I can take off work. Mayday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Ozzy Jr went to a lock-in at the local bowling alley for D.A.R.E. last night. A good friend's parent whose child was also spending the night took the his son and mine; my job was to pick them up at 06:00 the next morning.
No big deal, I thought. Get up at six, run to the bowling alley, pick them up, drop Jarrod off at his house, and I'm actually early for work for a change.
Wakened from a dead sleep by the phone ringing. It is dark. Ozzy Jr. is on the line. "Dad, when are you coming to get me?" Immediately, I'm thinking I have overslept. I get up, throw a pair of jeans on and a Black Sabbath tshirt and get in Mrs. Ozzy's car and start driving to pick him up. The clock in the car says 5:04. "Is that right?" I thought. Maybe I'm not late.
I get to the bowling alley and all of the kids playing inside affirm my thought that the clock in the car is correct.
"I need to pick up Martin and Nelson" I said to a woman and man cop at the desk. Mind you, I got out of bed 10 minutes before, I have an unkempt 25 day old beard, blue glasses and tattooes hanging out everywhere.
"Ok, do you have your id?", she replied. I'm pretty sure I'm being profiled at this point.
Meanwhile a kid that I coached baseball comes up and starts a conversation about next season with me.
"No, I got a call from my son and through on my clothes and didn't pick it up" was my reply to the young police lady.
"Can I see your id?" the male police echoed.
"No, I don't have it."
"Do you have your id?" he asked again.
"No, I still don't have it." I wanted to use a phrase from my old man, "boy, have you got a cricket in your ear, I said I don't have it." But I refrained.
"Then you can't pick anyone up."
"This kid that I'm not picking up can tell you who I am. The kids I'm picking up are 12 years old, they can tell you who I am. My name is on the list."
"Can't pick them up without an id."
This is what I'm thinking. You know, if I wanted to steal a kid, I am smart enough not to steal a smart mouthed 12 year old, and do you really think with 4 cop cars out front and an untold # of cops in here I'm going to kidnap a kid at FIVE FREAKING OCLOCK IN THE MORNING. My balls are big, but they aint that big.
Ok, I go home. Grab my id. Drive back the the bowling alley and get there at 5:30.
I approach the same male and female cops, "here's my id."
Over a microphone, "xxxxx Martin and Carter Nelson"
"Carter Nelson? I don't want Carter Nelson. My son is Wyatt. You said you checked my name on that sheet. There is no way my name is on a sheet for Carter Nelson. So, just because I had my id you were going to give me the wrong kid, but when I didn't have my id you wouldn't give me the right kid?"
Jr. saw me standing there joined me.
I'm not feeling good about the safety in our town.
I'm pretty sure they aren't feeling so good about me either.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beer School 2

I learned so much at The Siebel Concise Brewing course. The instructors were great, as was the content and my classmates. I want to highlight some of the people that impacted me most.

Larry and Rich from the bar at the Rockwell train stop. From the first 5 minutes in “their” bar, they new my name, made me feel welcome and became my friends.

Lucie: A biochemist, Lucie had never brewed beer. She works for the parent company of Siebel analyzing yeast. She fit right in and did great in the class. Of course, she didn’t have a choice because her bosses would be looking at her grades.

Nate (above) and Wiz (lower pic, far right): Nate sat by me for our two weeks and impressed me with his knowledge of beer and other stuff. Wiz is just a fun, very cool kid that loves Chicago.

Chuey: The only black dude in the class, he sat front and center. Chuey has his own business making hats for bikers, and divided his time in Chicago by running Chuey Brand and learning about beer. I was very impressed.

Harry (beside me): Had not one, but two horrific accidents in a brewery and continued to work there with a great attitude and had a ton of knowlege about brewing.

Then there was Lyn Kruger: Siebel President. This lady knows more about the chemistry and biology beer and beer flavor and components that I will know in a couple of lifetimes. She has taught all of the tasting classes as well as the anatomy, behavior and the proper handling of yeast. She has an MS in Fermentation Microbiology. Yikes. Lyn speaks with what I would call a British accent and has a style of teaching that makes the students pay attention. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Lyn:

  • "Yes, I am flocculent, I have a protien bit sticking out"
  • "If I am up here and Lucie is back there, what are the chances of us getting together and flocculating?"
  • "All yeast wants to do is to get its nads back"
  • "I give it enough to stuff its face full of sterol "
  • Question from student: "What if you find that you have significant amounts of the precursor of diasitol after initial fermentation" Her answer, "Its a bitch."

My entire time at brewer school could not have been better. From Cady and Lupe who worked behind the scenes at the class to make everything smooth, to Jack Price whose "homestay" I found on Craigslist, and was a perfect place to study and sleep. It was worth every penny, and every minute of my time.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beer School

I arrived in Chicago on Sunday evening and found the place that was to be my home fairly easily. The guy I'm renting from, Jack, I found on Craigslist gave me good directions and was not an axe murderer. That was good. My room is small but it has a desk and is pretty private. Eduardo is next door, he is from Brazil and is here studying to be a facial plastic surgeon. He is super nice and a really good guy. Jack has 2 cats and 2 rabbits. They keep to themselves pretty well.

First day going to class I got seriously lost and walked literally 2 miles futher than I should have and was about 10 minutes late for class. Everyone in class is cool.
The school always has 2 beers on tap and a fridge full of beer. It has been easy getting used to pouring myself a beer or two at lunch. Also, after school the bar is open for an hour, so that is pretty awesome too.
I am having trouble coming up with creative pics for whiskerino with all the school work. The photo above I was going to post on whiskerino, but when I uploaded it to my PC, I saw it was kind of obscene, so I decided not to.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Family Time

My dad (Bob) came to visit this weekend from Daytona. When me and my old man spend time together, we don't hunt, fish, play golf or watch sports. We do construction projects. It doesn't matter if I am visting his house or he is visiting mine, the host always have a big project ready for the guest.

Bob has been an electrician all his life and has worked at some pretty big jobs like at the Kennedy Space Center, building a nuclear power plant just to name a couple. When we work together, no matter how old I get, I am always seen by the old man as the lowly apprentice. That is fine with me, that is what makes things fun. As the lowly apprentice, I am treated with all of the insults and demoralizing comments that a young apprentice would.

When I was very young I remember someone asking my father's father why he cussed around the kids. His reply, "if you don't cuss around your kids, they'll end up cussing worse than you." Even as an elementary schooler, I thought, "Granpa, I don't see how anybody could cuss worse than you." Bob has pretty much kept with the same thinking as Bob Sr. in this particular instance, so it is an educational experience for the whole family.

The project this weekend was to put in new recessed lighting in our kitchen, wire new track lights, move the electrical from a wall that Mrs. Ozzy wants removed, install a couple new plugs, move a couple of ceiling fans, and move the overhead dining room light. It is important to mention that dad is having problems with his heart and is going to have a defibulator/pacemaker combo installed in a couple of weeks.

Here is a list of the top 10 construction quotes with my old man:
10: Bob: "You cut that wire too short, dick lick."
Me: "How many of your apprentices have you made cry?"
Bob: "Most of 'em. Some are just criers."
9: Me: "Ok, here's what I'm thinking - "
Bob: "Johnny, you tell me what you are thinking and I’ll tell you why you are wrong. (my dad calls all apprentices "Johnny" even if they are female, unless the female has large breasts, then they are "Judy" which is short for "Judy Juggernauts")
8: Me: "pull that wire back a hair."
Bob: "a public hair?" (yes, i spelled it as he said it)
7: Bob: "Don't argue with me boy, or I'll revoke your license."
6: Bob looking at a box I cut in for a plug about 5 years ago, "What kind of non union sh1t job is this?"
5: Bob: "I'm glad I'm not on a heart monitor right now."
4: Bob farts then says, "mmm nerves got the best of me."
3: Bob: "I'm going to sit here in the foreman's chair and pet the 'crotch cannibal' (a nickname he has for the large dog Icee) while I watch Johnny put this box together.
2: Ozzy Jr. after Bob has gone back to Florida while watching me work with a ceiling fan, "I'm going to call grampa and tell him to come back here 'cause Johnny can't seem to get it right.
And #1 comes after each part of the project is successfully completed: "Another job, well done by union craft."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Badge II

I've written about my badge before. I don't take proper care of it. Wednesday evening after a long and productive day at the office, my badge happened to fall out of my car. Then my dog ate part of it. It took a day or so to find it in the yard amoungst all the other once cool stuff that he has torn up, but I think it is safe to say that it no longer functions properly. I have been spraying that bitter stuff to keep dogs from chewing on things on everything that I own, but I failed to spray the old corporate badge. In spite of spraying everything with the bitter crap, and buying him $50 worth of chew toys, the list of what he has destroyed continues to grow.

  • 1 badge

  • 3 exterior door knobs

  • 1 awesome moustache magnet my daughter bought for me
  • 1 grain bag for steeping
  • Many shoes
  • Many plastic recyclable items
  • 2 pool cues
  • 1 exterior door frame
  • 1 big shrub in the landscaping
  • 8 feet of 4" drainage pipe
  • Flowers
  • 2 slats on the front porch
  • 2 dog beds
  • A 2 gallon bucket
  • 2 catcher's mits
  • 2 bike helmets
  • 1 catcher's helmet
  • Multiple carpenter's pencils

...I'm too broke and depressed to list any more.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I'm Pretty Sure Its Jesus

We had company today, and they smoke, so we spent some time in the garage. Page says, "there is a face in your dog door." I say, "I'm pretty sure it's Jesus." What do you think? CLICK on the picture to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Real Answers

There are several questions that many people ask me almost daily, and I'd like to answer them here and now so that we can intelligently discuss beer, tattoos, women, giving back to the community, or something that interests you. Warning: These are the smart ass answers, but truthful nonetheless.

1) Do you see everything blue through those glasses?
No, they are prescription and without them everything is blurry.

2) How much did that tattoo cost?
A lot less than your Lexus and it will last longer.

3) How can you give blood when you were just tattooed?
If you weren't tattooed in prison, under a bridge, or on a bar stool (you know who you are) you can give blood if you were just tattooed.

4) How much do you get paid for your platelets?
The Red Cross doesn't pay for any blood product. I give because there are very sick people that need something that I can give them.

5) Is that moustache for some kind of contest?
No, I just enjoy spending time twisting it. You should grow one yourself. If you are physically unable, I may let you twist mine.

6) How does your wife like the beard?
She hates it. She hates the moustache as well. Thanks for asking.

7) What kind of beer do you make?
Beer that chicks will enjoy drinking.

8) You work in audit, does that mean you a numbers guy?
I like the numbers on my pay check. If they were higher, I would like them more.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Free Tanqueray Still Having Effects

On 8/24/2009 I wrote a blog called "Free Tanqueray" about a wedding I attended that my wife planned. If you haven't read that blog, this won't make much sense.

Mrs Ozzy and I enter our favorite Mexican restaraunt (The Margarita House on Lowery) yesterday for an early dinner. There were some folks at one of the tables that were in their mid to late sixties that I didn't recognize. As soon as I am in their view they begin welcoming me like I was a long lost friend. "Hey, great to see you, what happened to that moustache? We loved that moustache." As I walk towards their table I'm thinking, "I LOVE these people, but who the hell are they?" Mrs Ozzy bailed me out by introducing them as the parents and aunt of the bride at the wedding. Got it. I remember now.
So, they start talking, "We got the film in the cameras developed that were at the tables for the reception. We ended up putting them in two photo albums. If you are looking at an album, everytime you turn the page there is another crazy picture of you in those glasses with that moustache."
Then they gave us each a frozen margarita out of their pitcher.
It's good to be loved.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Worst Commercial Lately

Some TV commercials just get under my skin. I know, "DVR it and you can fast forward through them", but I am not that committed to what I choose to watch. So, I just have to bitch about it. The one that is really bugging me now is the TMobile My Touch commercial. You know, the one with the little catchy song with Whoopi Goldberg, Phil Jackson and Jesse James passing around the phone with the cute photos on it? I have seen that commercial at least 50 times, and I had to look up what product the damn thing was pushing prior to writing this. So, if I can't remember the product, how effective is the marketing?
And just who are these marketing people trying to relate to? "if you want to be you, be you, and if you want to be me, be me..." I don't have a desire to even have lunch with these people. I have nothing in common with them and I dare say most other people in the market for a cell phone don't relate to them either. A has-been comedian, an old, no personality basketball coach and a sell-out bike builder? Give me a break.
It would be irresponsible to criticize and not offer alternatives, so, TMobile, if you are listening, here's something that would interest this everyday kid and his friends with money enough to buy your stupid phone.

1. Mariah Carey singing "Touch my Body" while doing anything with the phone. Surely she would be cheaper than the combination of those other three morons, and she is scorching hot.

2. Keep the same cast, and instead of Cat Stevens, play The Divinyl's "I Touch Myself." That would be funny.

3. Not a great idea, but better than yours, how about MC Hammer presenting the phone to his "Can't Touch This." He needs the money.

So, I won't be buying a TMobile phone because your commercial sucks. But hey, maybe TMobile has it right, and as Hall & Oats said, I'm just "Out of Touch."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bed Time Prayers II

Ozzy Jr. likes this girl in his class. His idea of courting her is to send people to her to ask if he likes her or to write down his phone # and address on a piece of paper and give it to her. So, in the car last night we are trying to give him suggestions on how to act.
Talk to her about her softball team, what position she plays, etc.
Ask her if she is on facebook.
Ask her to check out your blog.
See if she likes football, maybe you can talk about your fantasy team.
None of these are good ideas because Mrs Ozzy has never been a girl, and I have never tried to get a girl to like me.
Fast forward to prayer time.
Ozzy : "Dear Jesus and God"
Mrs Ozzy: "Please be with Ashlee, Kelsey and Granpa."
Ozzy Jr: "and please help me and Sarah to have a love connection.
Love, sincerely the Nelsons. Amen"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Parenting IV

Both of my daughters have been fired from jobs this year. One had gotten awards for her service, the other had just gotten a glowing review. Ashlee got fired just last week after being on their insurance fo 2 bloody weeks. It must be easier to get fired now than back when I started working. Maybe I'm biased, but I believe both of my girls are pretty easy to get along with, and are good workers. I remember my first job was at McDonald's. I was 18, and I had been there about 6 months and my job was to get there at 5:30 in the morning and clean the restrooms and scrub the floors. A coworker had a party one Friday night, I attended, drank a bunch of beer and went strait to work from his apartment. I was feeling really bad when I had to begin cleaning the bathrooms. I got started, but decided I would sit on a commode in the women's room and rest my eyes for just a minute. Thirty minutes later the maintenance man came in and woke me up. Then the SOB narked on me. I finished my duties as best I could then was sent home by management. All for passing out in the women's room and dry heaving over the kitchen sink?!? I was given a talking to my next day of work and told the incident would be on my "permanent" record. I didn't get fired. I've done other things almost equally as stupid and was able to sneak by, still employed.
I know my daughters didn't do anything close to passing out on a toilet. Maybe they are paying for the sins of their father.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Continuing Education: Top 5 Moments

Every year after Labor Day our department of 140 people goes to a TN state park for a week of training (September Seminar). Many people stay at the lodge, but many stay in cabins for a less private week. Dept training planners bring executives from the company and outside speakers in to speak, we have team building events, play golf, and there are parties. This year the big Thursday night event was a progressive party between cabins. Each cabin was decorated in a theme and the occupants of that cabin served food and drink related to the theme of the cabin.

Here are my top 5 September Seminar Moments of 2009

#5: A member of the "Fireman" cabin gets frustrated because the carbon monoxide alarm continues to go off in his crowded cabin and did his best Joe Montana throwing it out the back door and into the forest.

#4: A VP visiting the "Fiesta" cabin, after being spun around and blindfolded for the pinata busting, grabs the breast of a female staff person instead of the pinata stick.

#3: Friday morning speaker is talking about getting people's attention with humor when my front row table calapses spilling glass plates of scrambled eggs and biscuts at the speaker's feet.

#2: My five person golf scramble (3 guys, 2 ladies) had the most fun. Nine holes, 35 beers.

#1: Full frontal hugs from the ladies at the "Disco" cabin.
To read other perspectives of September Seminar, check out the Wandering Raccoon or Too Much Country.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Bangchi may be the smartest person I know. Her office is next to mine, we've worked together for 10 years. She is from a small village in China, and has been through some experiences that few share. She has an advanced degree in biochemestry and information systems. She builds applications from scratch in a fraction it would take the time for most other developers. We have been told we fight like an old married couple, but I think its more like brother and sister.
I knew Bangchi had a blog, but we really never talked much about it until a few weeks ago. She asked how many hits I had gotten since I started it. I told her Blogspot doesn't keep up with it so I don't know, probably about 38. So, she tells me her blog has been hit more than 233,000 times. My sibling rivalry juices began all of the sudden flowing. I accuse her of writing an app to hit her own blog to get the counts up (I don't really believe it, but I have to come up with something). She is loving getting the best of me because I just can't believe that many people would want to go look at her last trip to New York or her class reunion in China. After several minutes of me asking stupid questions about how she gets that many users and her laughing histarically AT me, I have to change my tac.
"PLEASE put a link to my blog on yours", I began grovelling. It wasn't pretty. She had bragging rights and I had none. I don't write this thing for attention (that is a lie). Ok, I do. Anyway, Bangchi not only put a link to my blog on hers, but she has written two of her blogs about me.

Enjoy. http://blog.creaders.net/huaihuaijia/user_blog_diary.php?did=46192

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I'm Surprised You're Surprised.

I have never ranted on this blog before. This will be my first and possibly my last. So, if you don't want to read me ranting, or if you are offended by the word "vagina" you'd better stop now.
Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 19th child and she is "surprised." As I recall, last year when she went on the Today Show and announced she was having #18, they were "surprised" as well. What the hell are they surprised about?? It's like being surprised that the Eagles are doing a reunion tour. I just don't get it.
Mrs Ozzy asked me this morning why this bothers me so, when they are supporting themselves. That is a great question. This is a free country and those weirdo's from Arkansas can have as many kids as they want, and there shouldn't be a law preventing that (unless they are on gov't run healthcare, which is another story). But I certainly wouldn't blame their health insurance carrier for raising their rates. That's what happens after you wreck your car, and I contend that is why they have a reality show. Because people can't help but look at a car wreck.
Check this out, below is a listing of kids and their bdays.
1 1988
2 & 3 1990
4 1991
5 1992
6 1993
7 1995
8 1996
9 1997
10 & 11 1998
12 2000
13 2001
14 2002
15 2004
16 2005
17 2007
18 2008
19 on the freaking way 2010

This woman gets pregnant every time her husband fakes an orgasm. Stand up comics could write an entire act making jokes about her vagina.
Here's my bitch, if you want a ton of kids, fine have a few of your own, then take some poor child out of a bad situation and make it better for them. There are thousands of kids in foster care in this country that need loving families (like the Duggars profess they are). There are many interractial babies in this country that could be adopted. If you are too white to love a brown child, Russia and the Ukrain have hundreds of thousands of orphans that can be adopted. According to iorphan.org, only 1 in 10 of these kids turn out to be productive members of society. But, no, its more important for the Duggars to show the world they still have intercourse than to bring one of these truely needy kids into their family and love them.
I have three kids, two biological, one adopted. I love the one that wasn't made from my sperm just as much as the two that were.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Free Tanqueray

Mrs Ozzy and her best friend were planning their first wedding. The lady that does their hair was getting married, and they were in charge of making things run smoothly, getting the photographer, dj, etc. They were doing this out of the goodness of their hearts and they thought it would be "fun." I'm not sure how planning a wedding would be fun, but to each their own. I wasn't thrilled about attending the wedding since I wouldn't know anyone, but I was going to support my bride. Well, the wedding went well, and the reception was a cash bar, and some pretty good heavy hor'dourves. Well, Mrs Ozzy's payment was free drinks at the reception. She told me they were serving Tanqueray just for me.
Well, I couldn't let them down, so I had a couple drinks. Danced a couple of dances, drank a couple more drinks. Then it occured to me that each of the 12 tables at the reception had a disposable camera. Put there for the guests to capture their experience at the reception. So, I went to every table, took a picture of myself with their camera and encouraged them to use up the film. Throughout the night as people left and tables were empty, I took the camera from the table and used the remaining film. Then, get another drink.
We stayed till the very end and did a little cleanup, and Mrs Ozzy drove us home.
I woke Sunday morning with a headache, and a fear that I had embarrassed myself, or worse, embarrassed the wedding planner. I didn't get an earful when I got up, so I must have behaved pretty well. I hope that is still the case when the film is developed.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Like, why?

I have a few pet peeves. One is the improper use of the word "like." I can handle an occasional "like", but it drives me insane when a person can't convey a thought without a blue streak of "likes." So, I very seldom watch "LA Ink", but a friend of mine is going to appear on the show soon, so I tuned in tonight. I was 5 minutes into tonights episode, when I had to rewind it to the beginning in order to accurately count the "like's." A 60 minute show (which is actually about 44 minutes less commercials) had 112 instances of an incorrect use of the word. That's like one "like" every like 23.57 seconds. Good Grief.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Being Old Sucks

I am 43. Usually I don't feel old. Then, I go to work where there are 128 people in my dept. the average age is 33.4 (the median is 29.8) and its 60% women. There are FIFTEEN people that I work with that hadn't had their first birthday when I started my career at this company. And this wasn't my first job.

So, this year I started dying my hair. I use women's hair dye (the cheapest I can find) rather than men's. I tried that men's stuff once and it lasted about a week. The one thing I did like about it is the gloves are bigger in the men's dye. I have to really be carefull not to rip those little gloves that come in women's hair dye boxes. Other than that, its just a pain in the ass to leave that crap on your hair and moustache for 25 minutes and keep it off your skin.

There was a time in my life when I would try to keep stuff like dying my hair a secret. It is more fun to just make fun of it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Fixing Things

The pull cord on my weedeater broke. It was true pain to replace the spring that retracts the cord. It reminded me of a time when my old man and I took the oven door off at Teddy's house. The thing came off real easy, but putting it back on was quite another matter. We aren't stupid, but we certainly felt like it as we screwed around trying to get this thing back on. That is how I felt with this cord spring on the weedeater. The thing came apart very easily, but getting it back together was pure hell. So I had to call my dad to get some sympathy. The call started something like this:

Me: Hey Dad, you remember that oven door we had such a hard time getting back on?

Dad: Ya, I remember.

Me: Well I'm having similar problems with this weed eater that I'm working on. It is driving me crazy, so I stopped to drink some beer and give you a call -

Dad: That's how you tell if a man's tough.

Me: Huh?

Dad: That's how you tell if a man's tough, if he trims the hair around his nuts with a weedeater. (Dad remembers every joke he has ever heard. He is a joke remembering/telling machine. Jokes are so engrained in his personality that he sometimes just blurts out punchlines. We'll be driving to Lowe's and he'll say, "cunning runt" or be telling a story and say, "the fantom rides." These are punchlines to jokes that you have to stop him and ask to hear the joke to you understand what he is talking about.)

Me: Oh.

Dad: You know how to tell if a woman is tough?

Me: Huh?

Dad: If her vibrator has a kick start.

Me: Oh. pause Back to the weed eater...

When my old man gets on a roll, he is a really funny guy. Sometimes I laugh with him, sometimes I openly laugh at him. We talked for another several minutes about his health and his upcoming trip to Montana.

I ended the call by saying, "Dad, I love you." I planned to say that when I made the call. I had to plan it, because I can't remember saying those words to my dad in my life. Never. When I was young my dad would say he loved me, but as I recall, it was in the context with the other kids. Like, "I (or we) love you boys." Never to me as an individual. I'm certainly not blaming my reluctance to sharing feelings on my dad. I know without a doubt that his dad never told him he loved him, although I'm sure he did. My grandfather, the son of immigrants grew up on the streets of New York in the depression. Expressing love was not something he ever learned.
Before hanging up Dad said he loved me as well.

I am proud that I am the original "dirty old man's" grandson, but there are a few family traditions my old man and I are working to change.

Candy What?

Ozzy Jr asked me an interesting question earlier in the summer, "Dad, at what age can I start cussing?" I thought to myself, "whatthehell kind of question is that?" I didn't have a good answer, just "you have to be older than you are."

Fast forward to Saturday. Beautiful weather, I have a ton of stuff to do, and its Ozzy Jr's job to cut the grass and he finally got busy on it. 10 minutes in he saw a wasp. Last week he saw a wasp and wasn't able to finish the job due to his emotional state. Now, he's too scared to cut the grass because he saw a wasp. I was not happy. Cutting the grass was not on my agenda. At the point of our father/son discussion when I knew he was not going to finish the job, I said words that my father may have said to me. "Well, you just take your candy ass inside and unload the dishwasher!" He disappeared into the house.

Earlier in the day we had the disucssion of doing what you fear to overcome the fear, but obviously, he wasn't buying it. I resigned myself to cutting the grass. 20 minutes into the chore, he came out and told me he decided he could do it. He took over and cut the rest of the yard. I was proud that he overcame his fear and later I told him just that. I also said, "sorry I called you a 'candy ass'." He replied, "I like the word 'candy ass'."

I like the word "candy ass" too.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Only at My House...

People often ask me if what I write here is true. I promise, I'm not motivated enough to make this crap up.

We were spending a quiet evening at home watching a crappy movie we had rented (The Jumper thumbs down), and Mrs Ozzy gets up off the couch and scoots the coffee table out a little. I had Poco (little dog) in my lap and Icee (big dog) was at our feet. Somehow, as she scoots the table out Icee catches his leg in the curled up foot of the coffee table. He starts yelping, twisting himself around, and I look down and he has somehow gotten his leg awkwardly wedged into the table. I feebly try to get him into the right position to free him, but no luck.

This looks very BAD.

He calms down relatively quickly, but he is hopelessly stuck. I tell Mrs Ozzy to call 911 and tell them to send the fire dept. On her way to the phone, she bumps the table and the puppy goes nuts with pain. The dispatcher tells her they will call animal control, but they can't dispatch the fire dept for a non human emergency. She said, "forget it" and hung up. I tell Ozzy Jr. to go across the ditch and get a neighbor that I'm sure has the tools to cut him out. Meanwhile Mrs. Ozzy starts calling other neighbors to come down.

As the first neighbors start to arrive a policeman comes by. Apparently, the police have to be dispatched every time you call 911. He says he'll stay and help. So, John (a neighbor) suggests taking the table top off then using a hacksaw to cut the table leg off. I tell him where the screw drivers are, and I go get my trusty angle grinder. I think, "screw a hacksaw." Meanwhile, John's wife Jody poured oil on the spot to see if there was a way to slide it out. No dice. So, John gets the table top off in pretty short order. There are several points that have to be cut through to get this done and I start with the smallest. 3/4 of the way through, as sparks are flying and the dog is going nuts, I was persuaded to stop. We used the hacksaw to finish the cut. We had at least 4 or 5 cuts to go. I was sweating, and my livingroom smelled like dog crap.

The policeman very adroitly then called the fire dept. They were there in 5 minutes. I guess they believed him more than us. They used the jaws of life to cut the leg off my coffee table. (I can tell Mrs. Ozzy is digging this well built fire fighter). At the suggestion of the policeman, I taped Icee's mouth shut for the protection of everyone. The policeman, fireman, and the fire captain carried him to the car with the coffee table leg in tow. As we put him in the back of Mrs Ozzy's car the table leg came lose. He was stuck in the table leg for about an hour.

Special thanks to our neighbors, the Smyrna Police and Fire Depts.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Talking to God

Every night when Mrs Ozzy and I put 11 year old Ozzy Jr. to bed we have prayers. He came up with the format. One person does the "salutation" one person does the "body" and one person does the "closing." The responsibilities for these are rotated each night. Jr also came up with a somewhat unique "salutation" and "closing" that we use every night. We stress that this is a time to talk to God, so it should be respectful. Here's how it went last night.
Mrs. Ozzy: Dear Jesus and God
Ozzy Jr. : Please don't let Momma find out that there is a Victoria's Secret catalog and a flashlight under my pillow.
(then he squeezes my hand, which means he's finished with the "body")
Me: and be with Ash and Kels and Granpa and Aaron Small.
Everyone: Love, sincerely The Nelsons, Amen.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wake Up

I had this dream last night. It was soooo real. I dreamed m 21 yo daughter Ashlee was addicted to fire extinguisher propellant. She got fired from her job because she kept ruining the fire extinguishers. She lied about doing it. We gave her 30 days to move out of our house because of her bad behavior. The scene switches to a little while later when she admits she as a problem and we are in Lowes. She is obsessed with trying to eat caulk. We are there in the caulk isle and she is uncapping them and squirting them in her mouth. I am trying to get the caulk away from her. She is trying to hurt herself by consuming this poison and I am going nuts. She doesn't care. She is fighting me. I give her a short left to the jaw.
"Ouch." I wake up. Mrs Ozzy had said "ouch".
The knuckles on my left hand felt like they had hit bone.
Oh crap!
"I am so sorry honey, I did not mean to punch you, I was having this dream..."
"Its ok."
"No, I am really, really sorry."
"Its ok."
"I did not mean to punch you. I am so sorry."
"Its ok. My elbow doesn't hurt at all now."
"I hit you on the elbow?"
"Yes. Where did you think you hit me?"
Mrs. Ozzy's head was level with mine in the bed. Ashlee is 5'0 tall. Thank God.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Life and Death

I volunteer what works out to about two months a year to delivering Communion to members of our church who are unable to get to church. I've been doing this for about 4 or 5 years I guess. One of my first visits was to Marie. Her husband was in a nursing home and she lived at home alone. I'd call her on my days to visit and she would always say, "I'm not feelin too good today honey, but come on ova." I visited her, and I'd go see her husband in the nursing home from time to time before he passed away and give her a report on my visit with him. She always said she didn't feel well, but she always had plenty to say when I got there. Marie moved to the same nursing home her husband died in about a year ago, and I still went to visit her there. Mrs. Ozzy would go with me sometimes and say she could tell by the gleam in her eye that she was just another of my girlfriends.
Marie died yesterday. She was 88. She loved her husband, her church, her family, and she enjoyed teasing a kid half her age about his different styles of facial hair.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Badge

I don't have a good reputation keeping up with my corporate badge. My wife knows I can't keep up with it, the security guards in my building know me on a first name basis because I can't keep up with it, and I don't do anything about it. Some people have those spring loaded things that attach them to their belt, I just carry mine in my shirt pocket. No clip, no pocket protector, just a thin badge. I guess having it attached to me would symbolize that I am attached to corporate America. I don't want that.
So, this afternoon I get up from my chair and instinctively pull out my badge from my front pocket. The phone rings. I reach did answer the phone and as if in slow motion, my badge falls into my chair. I tried to retrieve it for 10 minutes, turning it upside down, banging it on the floor, reaching my hand into it. Nothing worked. Through the commotion, my office neighbor comes by and I tell her my story. She doesn't believe me. So, we take the chair to an interior door across the hall and lift it up to the badge reader. It beeps and turns green. She busts out laughing and I go downstairs to confess to security.
While I am out she decides to have a little fun and tells one of our gullible friends that she has discovered that this certain chair is magnatized in such a way as it opens a door just like a badge. They roll my chair to the door and lift it to the card reader. Beep. The friend is amazed. She wants to try another chair. They do. No beep. Then another. No beep. Now my neighbor can't control her laughter.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sex Does Sell...even for VBS

We sit down in church Sunday, and there is a flyer about upcoming events laying on the pew. The clipart at the top of the page catches my eye and I say to Mrs. Ozzy, "If all of the young moms are going to wear skirts like that, I'm won't miss Vacation Bible School." She then called me a pervert. Right in chuch. Check the clipart out here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Boys will be boys

I coach a 9/10 year old baseball team. It's the first age group that plays kid pitch, so it is always an interesting time. We have this kid on the team, we'll call him Tommy, its his first season playing baseball, but he has played football and he's a good athlete. Tommy is always into the game and has a great attitude, and is a pretty good defensive player. He hasn't quite got the hitting thing down yet.
Well, in our second inning at-bat, Tommy asked to go to the bathroom. He was'nt batting for another several batters and there weren't any outs, so, no problem.
Fast forward to the forth inning.
Tommy: "Coach, I gotta pee"
Me: "boy, you just went in the second inning"
Tommy: "i've gotta go BAD'
Me: "You are next on deck. No, you can't go"
Tommy: "I can't hold it."
A voice from the dugout: "Do you have a gatorade bottle?"
Tommy: "Ya, but its half full"
A voice from the dugout: "hurry up and drink it"
The next thing I know is that there is a ruckus in the corner and kids exclaiming, "He's doing it!"
Tommy is behind the 55 gallon drum trash can peeing in the gatorade bottle. At that moment, he was supposed to be on deck. The kid at the plate strikes out, and I say, "dude, you've got to get out of here now."
He drops the bottle, the dugout erupts with panic, he runs to the plate, pants unziped, unsnapped, belt unbuckled. So, now he's in the batters box trying unsuccesfully to redress himself. The umpire is looking at him like he just peed in the dugout, and the 3rd base coach comes over and gives him a hand with getting himself back together.
Meanwhile, I look in the corner of the dugout, there are splatters of what I'm sure is urine on the wall and as I walk to the scene of the crime, I see a gatorade bottle laying on its side on the ground containing what appears to be a clear liquid. I pick up the bottle with my fingertips and toss it in the trash, getting another shocked response from the team.
I don't remember what Tommy did at his at bat, I'd like to say he hit a home run, but I know that wasn't the case. He was delighted to be the entertainment for a few minutes.

Monday, June 1, 2009


May is gone and its a little sad because Moustache May is always a great time. I will keep the moustache, but will trim it down a little over my mouth.
Ashlee started a new job in Murf. so, she is now working someplace that has insurance and has gloves to use.
Baseball season is nearing a close. It hasn't been the season I'd hoped for, but I have learned a lot, so in that respect it has been good. We'll see what happens in the fall.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You Have Got to Be Kidding Me

Ashlee (my 21 year old daughter) comes home from her volunteer job at the reduced fee medical clinic yesterday and tells me this story. They only wear surgical gloves when they are donated to them (I did not know this until yesterday). So, yesterday there were no surgical gloves. She takes blood from this patient to do some tests, and just as she disposes of the syringe, the patient says, "you are going to do an HIV test on that as well aren't you?"

I will be donating a box of surgical gloves every time my daughter works from here forward.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I see this guy I know out at the ballpark this weekend. He and his wife got some little chinese symbol tattoo on their legs a year or so ago. He comes up to me at the ball park and asks if I have gotten any more work done. I know he's dying to show me a new tattoo. So I ask him. It turns out to be a solid black superman symbol on his shoulder. He said "you like it?" I reply, "well at least it is big enough that it can't be mistaken for a dirt clod."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A Graduate!

Ashlee is my oldest daughter, she turned 21 last week and last night graduated from Xray tech school. She is currently taking her state boards and looking for a job. I am very proud of her. She has come an extremely long way since she stole that woman's car who was on her death bed. But that is another story. Tonight we are going to celebrate at a local club called Silverado's. I am pretty sure it isn't my kind of hang out, but I am going to have some fun anyway.

So, at the graduation, after the commencement speech (which was pretty good) a bat started flying around inside the venue. It disrupted the ceremony the rest of the way through. It was very entertaining because people in the audience would be screaming as it swooped over their heads and none of the presenters said a word about it, even though they were getting harassed as well.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Horror and Ink

The annual Tattoo and Horror festival is an event I look forward to every year. It is a pretty big event year after year. Horror stars come and sign autographs, take pictures answer questions, while in another hall the buzz of tattoo machines fill the air. I don't know a thing about horror films, but I love to watch the kids go gaga over some of these "stars." The guy that played "Leather Face" just looks like a regular dude to me, but apparently, he is really something special.

Here are what I thought were the highlights

  • I got tattooed at the show for the first time.

  • The belly dancing show never gets old

  • Teddy did 18 piecings, so he can pay his rent this month

  • Tom Zombie sang from memory the forth verse of the beloved hymn "Just as I am" (long story)

  • I gave a dude $5 to take a picture with him and his fakeness

  • I mistakenly called this bald girl with tattoos on her head "man"

  • I feel good about missing Sideshow Benny hanging irons from his scrotum.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Boy vs Tree

Saturday Wyatt decided to chop down a dead bradford pair tree in our yard. I have no idea why. It is strange because usually he thinks "manual labor" is a Mexican President. He made it about half way through Saturday and was determined on Sunday morning to go out in the rain and finish the job. We persuaded him to wait until the rain quit on Sunday afternoon. Mission accomplished.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

To Cut, or Not to Cut?

We visited my dad in Daytona last weekend. Pam and Wyatt went to the beach, I stayed to help the old man get some work done around the property. We put in about 500 feet of fencing, and in the process, I asked him if he wanted me to cut "down" this red bud tree that is growing horizontally across the front of his house. After all, I had the chainsaw out and it would take but a minute. His response, "f*** you, the fantom rides." I took that as a "no." My opinion is that if you like the tree so much, if you cut it down to a stump, it will grow back VERTICALLY, as a tree should. He wasn't buying it. So, I ask, what should be done with the tree?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

His First Ass Whippin

I had baseball practice so Pam took the puppies to puppy class with my daughter. I think everything went good until the end of class when a seven month old mastiff unprovoked grabbed my 20lb puppy "Icee" by the neck and commenced to lifting him off the ground and shaking him. Pam valiantly jumped in and in trying to break the death grip was bitten by Icee on the thumb, which hit a vein and she began bleeding like a victim of a jordin tootoo fight. Finally, the dog let go, the owner (this older woman that has no business with a dog that will eventually weigh more than she does) gracefully cleaned up Icee's bodily functions which he understandably lost control of during the ordeal. When Pam looked up she said there were people 3 deep looking into the training area of the store. They should have charged admission. These pics are of both sides of his neck.

Pam's thumb is sore, but getting better, both she and Icee are on antibiotics. I need to call the manager and tell him it would be wise to cover Icee's vet bill.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


So, I have to go to an offsite meeting this morning. Nine to eleven. Two hours. Ugh. Going to meet with a woman named Chigger. If a person is named after a bug, they should at least be good looking. The opperative word here is "should." Why would someone name their kid after something that crawls under your skin, leaves a welp, and annoys the hell out of you? I am not comfortable going into someone else’s territory and trying to poke holes in what they are doing, but I think that is what was expected of me. Anyway, I am sitting there, and to me these guys appear to know what they are doing. They do this all the time, their methodologies appear to be reasonable. About an hour in I am studying this SQL, and the contact lens in my right eye curls up and I am partially blinded. It is under my eyelid and being annoying, so I am trying to discretely roll my eyes, pull my upper eyelid over the lower (I was glad the lights were out and we were watching dude go through his code on the data show). Anyway, after about ten minutes of trying to dislodge this foreign object, I succeed. It pops out, and I pop it in my mouth. I don’t feel getting up is appropriate because basically this is why I am here. So, I figure I’ll wait until we are finished, find someone in the building I know and borrow some solution. Well, eleven o’clock came and went and they are still talking. I’m trying to position this thing in my mouth to keep it safe. Eleven thirty - still talking. Someone asks me a question about how another dept is handling this situation and I tried to answer without revealing the contents of my mouth, and without spitting it on them. Then, I inhaled. Damnit! As I try to put together a cohesive sentence for this nice lady, my contact is now working its way through my digestive system. The meeting ended, and I can’t see out of my right eye.

Friday, February 27, 2009

You Can't Overcome Dumb

Actual phone conversation (about the 9th today) from a VP where I work.
VP: Ozzy, did you create those sample files where is describes the size and seed, etc.
Ozzy: Yes. They are in the directory where all of the other files are.
VP: I'm not seeing them. All I see are the Excel files. We REALLY need these for the external auditors when they come to review our work.
Ozzy: They are out there. They start with an "R".
VP: I'm still not seeing them.
Ozzy: What software are you using to view the directory?
VP: Excel
Ozzy: They aren't Excel files, they are text files.
VP: What does that mean?
Ozzy: You should be looking in Window's Explorer, not Excel. Just pull up Window's Explorer and you will see them.
VP: I thought Explorer was how you got to the internet.
Ozzy: That is Internet Explorer.
VP: Then I have no idea what you are talking about. Would my admin know?
Ozzy (thinking): I have a 10 year old son and a 9 week old puppy that would know.
Ozzy: Yes. She would know.
VP: Well I will get with her then.

An Experiment

I had a lot of "experiments" as a young boy that did not end well. Just ask my old man, he reminds me every chance he gets 35 years later. Like the time I tasted a miniscule piece of an elephant ear plant. Be advised, don’t do it. Or the time I tried to see what it would be like to be blind, so I closed my eyes and tried to walk to the end of my grandparents dock. The height of this dock was about 10 feet off of the river bank. Lets just say I was lucky it was high tide because I only made it about 5 steps.
Wyatt was in the car with Pam and decided he needed to test the cigarette lighter. Why he thought that the best way to do this experiment was to touch it to the end of his nose, I’m not quite sure.

Monday, February 23, 2009

May I intoduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Teddy Monster!

Teddy and Angela went and got married last week. Please join me in congratulating the newly weds. I don't know what Teddy's real last name is, so don't try to look up the announcement in the paper. I must say that I am very happy for them and wish them all the best.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Secret is Out...

Now, all of Nashville (or the few that actually still read the paper) realizes that my wife is not a fan of my moustache. This was a write up last Tuesday's Tennessean on the resurgence of the lip rug. She learned an important lesson in this experience. If you a woman, DON'T TELL A REPORTER YOUR AGE.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Dictionary of Corporate Bullshit

A friend of mine turned me on to this desk calendar (page-a-day by Workman publishing). Only 49 days into the year and this calendar has produced several gems. Listed below are my personal favorites so far:

1/20 - take it to the next level - To ratchet up. The phrase may be used in reference to intensity or performance but often is just thrown out there for effect, leaving the "it" undefined.

2/5 - diversity - A mix of many different kinds of people; something many companies are supposedly deeply committed to in the form of office politics. Somehow, everybody thinks serving cafeteria food that "represents" and "teaches about" different groups of people is a great idea.

2/7 - constructive criticism - Negative feedback presented in a helthy and useful manner, according to the person delivering it. When the boss [or his designee] says, "This looks like shit", take it as constructive criticism.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th Fun!

If you are looking for something pre-Valentines to get your sweetie in the mood, come out tonight and check out Panty Raid! at the Exit/In in Nashville. I've seen them twice, and its always a good time. Hey, don't just take my word for it, THE Robert Plant says, "They're so charming!"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My old man loves animals. He calls them "God's creatures." He wasn't always like this. "Old age" has mellowed him. I've seen him kill a rattle snake, which now he would never do because it because "They are God’s creatures.” We raised rabbits when I was a kid for pets, meat, etc. I think we had eighty-something at one time. I've seen him hang a rabbit by its hind legs and hit it in the head with a lead pipe. I don't think he would do that now unless he was really hungry for some hasenpfeffer. Now he photographs animals (mostly birds) and collects them. Collects is a good word. He lives in Florida and when I went to visit in December, he had seven dogs, eight guinea pigs and 20 or so little birds. I helped him give 6 of the pigs away on Craig’s List, but I could tell he couldn’t stand to lose any more. In the pic above he is “five dogging.” Dad has an afternoon nap almost every day, and every day the dogs nap with him. Usually there is one more dachshund that sleeps up around his head, (then he would be “six dogging” his nap) but she opted out of this picture.

For 12 years my family only had one dog. My oldest daughter was given a dog last year by her boyfriend (which we affectionately called “shit bird”). Of course, shit bird didn’t ask us before he decided to bestow this Chihuahua on our house. So, like it or not we now had two dogs. Our oldest dog Amiga had to be put down after Christmas, so we were left with the less than amicable Chihuahua.

We have since adopted two puppies, one to replace Amiga (replace is a horrible choice of words, Amiga can never be replaced) and one on impulse. Now we have three dogs and I’m feeling like I’m turning into my old man. And it isn’t that bad really.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


My goal is to post once per week. I have failed.
I was sick this week. Don't know why, but I got to watch some good solid TV. Here's my 2 day sick list of what I watched when I wasn't sleeping, working, or huling.
  • Ground Hog Day. - Never gets old
  • A Fist Full of Dollars - Its good even if I couldn't understand half of the dialog
  • For a Few Dollars More - I used the subtitles, it was great.
  • Charmed, the mermaid episode - Alyssa Milano in pasties. Enough said. (thanks Kat for letting me know this was on)
  • Rock of Love, the bus tour - Why did I waste my time with this trash?

A special thanks to Tiger who put together the characature for my blog. He is a better artist than he is a developer. (That was a joke).

Monday, January 12, 2009

DL Pics - A poll

These are all friends of mine.

Unfortunately I get the inausipicious honor of winning this poll. Though everyone got at least 2 votes and Niko came in a very close second.

Which of these gentlemen would you be LEAST likely to let chaparone your daughter on a date. (From left to right)

Name ................Votes..................... % of votes
------................... ----- ........................-----------
Niko ....................11............................ 32%

Tom Zombie ..........6.............................17%

Will .......................3 .............................8%

Ozzy ....................12 ...........................35%

Killer Bee ..............2 ..............................5%

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Parenting III

My 19 year old daughter Kelsey and me have planned for months that she would come and eat lunch with me on January 5th, then I would take her to the Red Cross to give blood. I am pretty faithful in my giving of blood and the ladies in the donation room have gotten to know me so well that it is like "Cheers" when Norm came into the bar.

Anyway, we went and had a gread sushi lunch and headed for the Red Cross. Kelsey had tried to give blood once before in high school and things didn't go so well, but I promised I was very confident that this time it would be different.

Things were going great and Kelsey had given 400 of the 470 units that she had to give when she started having trouble. Linda, the tech attending to her, had her coughing to help her finish it up when all of the sudden Kelsey spewed sushi, sprite, etc. all over me and herself (yuk, puke in the hair). It was like The Exorcist, a large, green burst of rice and crunchy shrimp. Well, she was able to finish, (yahoo!) but since I was covered in Japanese delight, I had to put my dedication to my job aside and go home to clean up.