Archive for the ‘Humor’ category

Happy Father’s Day!

June 19, 2009
Fathers Then and Now

Fathers Then and Now

“Fathers, like mothers, are not born. Men grow into fathers – and fathering is a very important stage in their development.” — David M. Gottesman

“A father is a banker provided by nature.” — French Proverb

“The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, ‘Daddy, I need to ask you something,’ he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan.” — Garrison Keillor

“When I was a kid, I said to my father one afternoon, ‘Daddy, will you take me to the zoo?’ He answered, ‘If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you.'” — Jerry Lewis

I read a report recently that most people treat Father’s Day like an afterthought. That is such a shame. Some even joke on how kids like Father’s day better than Mother’s day because they don’t have to spend as much money. To all the fathers out there, this is for you.

Like so many men of his time, my father joined the military at a young age. He was a career man, retiring in 1973. During those years, I think I have counted over a dozen schools I attended. There were two years when my father was transferred 3 times. During some of those years, I can recall him taking on one, even two extra jobs to help our family of 4 children make ends meet. I know it was not a fun time for him. There are many times I am sure he would have rather been doing something else. But one of the things I can recall quite clearly is my father working on our family cars. His father taught him at an early age how cars worked, drilling the steps of engine operation into him. My father could fix almost anything. Oil changes? You’d better believe he did them. Engine sputtering? He was under the hood changing the spark plugs.

These days my father is the master of the grill. If it can be seared, put on a rotisserie, or smoked, he can make it taste like something from a 5-star restaurant. He leaves most of the car work to others as age and health have pretty much made that hobby out of the question. It doesn’t mean he still doesn’t ask about our cars or the grandchildren’s cars.

Here’s a typical phone conversation for most fathers:

Child: Hi Dad!
Father: Hi! How’s the car?
Child: It’s doing fine. We had the oil changed recently.
Father: That’s good. How’s the job?
Child: Going well.
Father: How are the kids?
Child: They are doing OK. Johnny had a cold, but he’s better now.
Father: That’s good. Here’s your mother…

I have come to the conclusion over the years that most fathers do their best talking when the child is in front of them. Phones are just not a good communication tool. But that’s OK.

I don’t go very long without one of my relatives saying how much I am like my father. Believe me when I say that is one of the greatest compliments I receive. While I think I have garnered some of the best (and yes, some of the worst) traits of my parents, I am proud to be my father’s daughter. I am so glad he has passed on to me many of his skills and values.

So to all the fathers, grandfathers, soon-to-be-fathers, and those we look up to as fathers, thank you. You are not an afterthought in the eyes of a child, whether they be newborn or 90.


Thank you, Mom

May 8, 2009
Thanks, Mom!

Someday you will miss this?

  • “Stop kicking the front seat!”
  • “Don’t put your feet on the car seat!”
  • “Make sure you put the towel down before getting in the car with that wet swimsuit!”
  • “Don’t spill your drink on the seat!”
  • “We’ll turn this car around RIGHT NOW if you don’t stop (Insert Annoying Activity Here)!”
  • I’m sure you can add more such statements to that list. My mother still says those to her grandchildren. It makes me smile.

    I can recall her helping me out when I was learning to drive. I think she had more patience and fortitude than my father. Well, “helping” is a nice term. At least she kept all her hair in spite of my mistakes.

    My mother did not learn to drive until the mid-60s. Like many women of her time, she did not feel it was necessary to learn to drive. Fortunately, my father had her go to driving school so that she could get her license as he, being on active military duty, was not available to take us to many places.

    I can still recall picking her up from her classes. We had an Oldsmobile at the time. It is really amazing that my mother only had her license for about 11 years before I started driving.

    Over the years, we have had many cars. My mother named each and every one. Yeah, they all had unique names. One of them stands out – Gravel Gertie. Yes, Mom named her (All of Mom’s cars are female. Oddly enough, all of my aunt’s cars were male. Go figure.) after the wife of B.O. Plenty in the Dick Tracy strips. She was pink and gray and rode like a tank. My father may have bought the cars, but she gave them personality.

    Over the years, we have gone from burning our legs and sticking to vinyl upholstery, to sitting in relative comfort on cloth seats. I think it was probably a woman that told her son or daughter to come up with a better material to keep from having to peel herself off a car seat. I know my mom would have made such a request had any of us ever gone into vehicle design.

    So thank you to all the moms out there who have kept us in line, helped us learn to drive, and have pushed us to become something better than we would have been without their guidance. Happy Mother’s Day. And yes, Mom, I have stopped kicking the seat back.

    Carbecue Anyone?

    April 30, 2009

    They call it carbecuing. What is it? It’s cooking food on the engine of your car while driving. OK, I’ve never done this, though my father has said it is quite possible, especially on older vehicles, and that food actually turns out pretty good. I guess it is no more odd than people who cook salmon in a dishwasher or make grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron. I am definitely not advocating that you take your classic Galaxie on a trip from Peoria to Louisville for the upcoming race and make dinner while driving there, you’ve worked hard enough to get your car restored.

    I’ve discovered that they do cooking times in miles instead of minutes. Some recipes even specify the speed with the mileage. One of the main things they recommend is finding the warmest spot on your engine – usually the closer to your exhaust manifold, the better.

    There are loads of issues with doing this, such as foil packs leaking, the package moving while in transit, fumes backing up in your engine, and more. So why do it? Some people just find it an easy way to have a warm meal when they arrive at their destination. Some people are just born to multi-task. Still others look for ways to economize while traveling.

    Here is a link to one site that can get you started. Cook Food on Your Car’s Engine

    Manifold Destiny

    Manifold Destiny

    You say you need a cookbook? Well, there is one. It’s titled “Manifold Destiny” and you can still find copies of it around. In fact, there is a 2008 edition now including cooking on newer car models such as the Scion and Escalade. It has recipes such as Baked Gilroy Garlic Highway 101, Maryland Crab Imperial and include the approximate number of driving miles needed to cook them.

    If you come up with some good recipes for cooking on your car’s engine, let me know. I think it might be fun to share them. Just be sure to note the speed and number of miles it takes to get the meal done.

    Bon appetite!

    Ford Model Consolidation?

    March 20, 2009



    There has been a lot of talk lately about consolidating model lines to save money for auto makers. Some years ago, Futurama had an episode that featured the all new “Thundercougarfalconbird”. Here’s my take on it. Hope you enjoy it. 🙂
    (No, this is not a real car.)