Biff Sock Pow

Finding the humor in everyday life.

Cool Advertising: Free Chris-Craft Boat With Purchase of Wristwatch

I saw this in the window of one of the stores I walked past at the Galleria yesterday.  I forgot which store it was.  Sorry.  They all kind of blur together after a bit.  But how cool is this?

Wristwatch & Boat

Apparently, if you buy this (probably very expensive) wristwatch, you get this really cool miniature of a classic Chris-Craft boat.  It even comes in a handy carrying case, so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Now, I wear a wristwatch and I very much like complex mechanical objects as much as the next engineer, but what I’d really, REALLY like is this miniature boat.

But not enough to buy the watch to get it.

And for the record, I don’t know anything about boats or boating.  I just like miniature things.  And cool carrying cases.

 

Sunday Round-up: Special Father’s Day Edition

Cowboy roping steer

It was a wonderful weekend in Biffville.  And why wouldn’t it be?  After all, it was a weekend.  A weekend, I tell you!  Need I say more?

Well, I must say more, or this post will be entirely too short.

The best part of the weekend was, of course, that I did not have to go to work.  That left lots of time in which to enjoy not being at work.

Secondly, it was Father’s Day weekend, so I got to do lots of out-of-the-ordinary things like sleep in, not mow the yard, and eat at whatever restaurant I wanted to for multiple meals.

Regarding the sleeping-in …. I do so love not having to get up at the crack of dawn in the morning.  I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination.  But the down side to sleeping in is that by the time I wake up, shave, shower, dress, and consume enough coffee to become sentient, a sizable chunk of the day is missing and so I have to scramble to cram the rest of the day’s activities into whatever time is remaining in the day.  It is very stressful.  Relaxing does not come naturally to me.  I have to work at it and stress over it.

Regarding not mowing the yard, I think this is self-explanatory.  I have met one or two people in my life who purported to enjoy mowing the yard, but though I did not call them a bald-faced liar right to their face, I did edge away from them slowly while smiling so as not to unnecessarily agitate them.  If someone would lie about something as benign as yard mowing, who knows what else they are capable of?  One shudders to think.

(And by the way, before any of my readers in parts of the world who enjoy moderate, temperate climates get your torches and pitchforks, I am not speaking of you.  I am talking of people who live in Texas.  Doing any sort of work outside in Texas in the summer is akin to dirt farming on the surface of the sun.  I’m sure even _I_ would enjoy mowing the yard somewhere where the temperature was below 100 and the humidity was not 99.9%.)

Regarding getting to choose the restaurants this weekend, that proved to be more stressful than it was worth.  I like food.  Nearly any kind of food.  Furthermore, I am perfectly happy eating the exact same meal every day for decades on end.  On the other hand, others are not so indiscriminate.  Every time I pick a restaurant, what follows is a litany of, “We just ate there last month.”  “What, there again?”  “Their food is too spicy (or not spicy enough).”  “That’s so far away.”   “The service there is lousy.”  “I once knew someone who worked with a person who read a reviewer on Yelp who said they knew someone who had a brother who’s kid went to school with a kid who got sick there one time.”   And it goes on and on.  But then when I don’t pick a restaurant, the toe-tapping begins and the impatient sighs.  So, when it’s my turn to choose a restaurant, the stress usually ruins my appetite.

Also, I got some cool gifts today.  A Bob’s Burgers “World’s Greatest Dad” mug.  And a copy of William Faulkner’s “Collected Stories“.  Okay, that last one I picked out myself, but when I said I’m going to the bookstore, I was instructed “Get something you want and don’t talk yourself out of it this time“, and so it counts as a gift.  I think.  I need to retake the on-line training module concerning gifts and gratuities.

But all in all it was a great weekend.  I hope all you other dads out there had a great weekend, too!  In fact, I hope EVERYONE had a great weekend!

 

 

Photography: Pigeons at the Dallas Galleria

Pigeons at the Galleria.jpgImage ©2017 by Biff Sock Pow

 

These young lovers were caught billing and cooing in the shrubbery outside one of the entrances to the Dallas Galleria this morning.  Far from being embarrassed at having been caught in mid-bill (or mid-coo) they just looked up at me as if to say, “Do you mind?

I did not mind.  In fact, I took a photo of the loving couple.  They were unflappable, as evidenced by the fact that they did not flap their wings and fly away.  In fact, I got about two feet away from them to take this photo.  Then I continued on in to the Galleria.

It felt odd, though, being followed by a pair of eyes (one eye per pigeon) as I went along my merry way.

Camera:  My aged phone

 

Boring Backyard Photography: Morning Glory

Here are some photos of a Morning Glory vine that has taken up residence on a rose trellis beside my house.  It has nearly choked out the rose bush that is growing there.  There is a single yellow rose growing near the ground that is nearly obliterated by the Morning Glory.

Morning Glory #1Image ©2017 by Biff Sock Pow

Morning Glory #2.jpgImage ©2017 by Biff Sock Pow

Morning Glory #3.jpgImage ©2017 by Biff Sock Pow

I love how Morning Glory looks, but it redefines the phrase “invasive species”.  No one plants it.  It just appears.  It suckers you in with its pretty purple flowers.   You see it growing and think, “Well, that’s pretty.  I think I’ll let it stay.”  The next thing you know, your entire yard is covered in Morning Glory.  The plant you see in the photos above appeared and grew to the size you see in about 2 weeks.  I have seen it growing in cracks in the concrete of major freeways.

Anyway, here are a couple of photos I took of it before I try to remove it to find the yellow rose (of Texas?) beneath it.  And when I find it, I plan on saying, “Dr. Livingston, I presume?”  No one will laugh but me, but I’m sure the rose will be grateful.

Meanwhile, the Morning Glory will say, “Curse you, Biff!  You may have won this time, but I will be back!

And it will, too.

 

Camera:  Canon T6

 

Boring Backyard Photography: Bunny In Grass

Bunny in Front Yard #1.jpgImage ©2017 by Biff Sock Pow

This little fellah thinks he’s hidden in the St. Augustine grass in my front yard.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that even I, with my poor eyesight, was able to discover him like he was in an entry-level version of “Where’s Waldo?“.  But I was kind and let him believe that he was hidden.

Although, now that I think about it, me stopping to take his picture might have ruined my attempts to let him believe he was a ninja bunny.

Camera:  Canon T6

 

Photography: Setting Sun Over the Florida Gulf Coast

Florida Gulf #3Photo © by Biff Sock Pow

Here is a photo I took on my recent trip to the gulf side of Florida.  This is not the raw photo.  I saturated the hell out of it and cranked the contrast up to make it look like the sun was exploding behind the clouds and to make the gulf waters more inky.  The raw photo was very flat and boring.  I also turned up the blue a little because the original photo was too yellow.

 

This was taken with my Samsung phone since I didn’t have my T6 with me.

 

 

 

Hello Summer, My Old Friend

panicking

And by “friend”, I mean “Bane of my Existence”.

In Simon and Garfunkel’s classic song, when they sing “Hello Darkness, my old friend“, you can hear the despair and resignation in their voice.

I feel the same when I welcome summer back to Texas.  From the very first time the thermometer hits 96 (35.6 C) … as it did today … you know it will not be going down again for at least 4 more months.  It will only be going up.  There might be nights when the temperature will creep back down into the mid to low 90s (34 C), but that will be at 2 o’clock in the morning.  It’s not like I’m going to get up in the middle of the night just to go outside just to enjoy some air that is only slightly cooler than it was at noon.  Even if I did, the mosquitoes would carry me away and inject me with a cocktail of West Nile, Zika, Chikunguny, or Dengue (dealer’s choice).

Tomorrow it is supposed to be 98 degrees (36.7 C) with a heat index of 108 (42.2 C).  And it’s only mid-June, folks!  There’s lots more summer fun on the horizon.

I really need to move further north.  I wonder what property values are like at the North Pole.

Chief Inspector Biff in “The Drawing Room Murder”

inspector

A 60-Second Mystery

(Solving Times May Vary)

Chief Inspector Biff walked into the drawing room and stood looking about the crime scene, taking it all in. It was your typical overstuffed drawing room in your typical Victorian motif. He was mildly gratified when the two uniformed coppers, one posted at each door of the room, snapped suddenly to attention at his appearance.

“At ease, boys,” he said gruffly. They stood less at attention, but still eyed him warily.

In addition to the uniformed coppers, two plain-clothed inspectors were poking about with little plastic things that looked like pencils, but which were actually solid plastic Official Police Investigation Sticks™. Everyone just called them Opies. They prevented getting fingerprints or body oil all over everything. After all, one never knows what might actually turn out to be evidence. For instance, in The Case of the Compromised Crime Scene it turned out that one of the Opies themselves was a piece of evidence. It had been quite an ordeal to not get them all mixed up. The whole affair had been like a crazy game of Pick-Up Sticks.

“What have you got?” said Chief Inspector Biff to the two investigators who had not even looked up from their fine-toothed comb business.

They stopped crawling about on the floor and stood up to face him. “Not much, I’m afraid, Chief Inspector Biff,” said one of them, gesturing to a small collection of little plastic baggies sitting on one of the occasional tables in the room. “Just the usual assortment of hairs, lint, lipstick-stained cigarette butts, swizzle sticks, cocktail napkins, buttons, pearl earrings, cuff links, tie studs, gold teeth, monocles, cat toys, aglets, paper clips, hair bands, a cheese ball, and a single bullet casing.

The Chief Inspector raised his eyebrow slightly. “What was that you said?”

“Bullet casing?”

“No, before that.”

“Cheese ball?”

“Yes. That one.”

“I said ‘cheese ball‘, Sir,” confirmed the investigator.

“Very interesting,” said the Chief Inspector, stroking his chin thoughtfully. “And where was the murder committed?”

“Right there,” said the inspector, pointing at a body lying between the card table and the clavichord.

Chief Inspector Biff took a step towards the body and bent over slightly at the waist to get a better look at the deceased. After a moment, he straightened back up and turned back towards the inspectors. “Yes. Quite. Very interesting. And who is the deceased?”

“Sir Reginald Duke Lord Baron Earl of Wightsmith Downs-HamptonShire.”

The Chief Inspector raised his eyebrow just a bit higher than it was before. “That’s quite a mouthful. Cause of death?”

“According to the medical examiner, it appears Sir Reginald was done in by that candlestick lying next to him. Blunt trauma, most likely.”

Chief Inspector Biff stroked his chin again. “Sir Reginald . . . in the drawing room . . . with the candlestick.”

“Yes sir, Chief Inspector.”

“And I am sure you noticed the orange-ish smudge on the candlestick?”

“No, Sir.” The inspector looked sheepish.

“Yes. There. On the column, just below the knop.”

The inspector leaned down and looked closer. “Gosh, sir! You’re right. I hadn’t noticed that. I thought it was just a bit of wax.”

“And what is the butler’s name,” asked the Chief Inspector.

“Brimble, Sir.    Nigel Brimble.”

“Sir Nigel Brimble?”

“No, sir.  Just Nigel Brimble.”

“Go fetch him at once. And take a close look at his left index finger. I expect you will find it coated with an orange substance that is nearly impossible to wash off.”

“The cheese ball!” exclaimed the second investigator who, up to this moment, had not had any speaking parts.

“Precisely,” said Chief Inspector Biff, snapping his fingers to drive home his point. “There is no stain more indelible than synthetic cheese powder with a base of one or more of the following: corn oil, canola oil, coconut oil, or palm oil.”

“You’ve done it again, Sir,” said the first inspector, his voice full of awe.

“Posh,” said the Chief Inspector. “It was elementary.”

“That one’s taken, sir,” said the first inspector.

“Oh. Then it was … er … um … facile.”

Everyone was about to laugh, but the scene froze and the credits began scrolling by at a dizzying speed.

 

The Case of the Missing Biff

Biff on Milk Carton

Alright, I’m just going to plunge in and get this over with.

Blogging is in no way like riding a bike.  The conventional wisdom regarding bike-riding is that one never forgets how to do it, no matter how long one goes without riding.  But one can most definitely forget how to blog.

I feel like, if the blogosphere were a gym, a pumped up blogger with 20,000 followers would be standing over me, sneering, and saying, “Do you even blog, Bro?

And me, the skinny, pasty, feeble blogger struggling to lift up the bar that doesn’t even have any weights on it, would say defiantly, “I used to blog every day.  Then I forgot how.

The pumped up blogger, now with 5,000 more followers than he had when this conversation started, would just shake his (or her) head in  disgust and walk away from me, leaving me to struggle with my weightless bar.

Because, let’s face it, when it comes to blogging, most of us are our own worst enemy.  Every day, when the time we set aside to write comes around, it is so easy to talk ourselves out of writing.  The excuses are endless.

  1. Nothing interesting happened to me today.
  2. I’m too tired to write.
  3. I can’t think of anything to write about.
  4. The one thing I did think to write about, I just wrote about a few weeks ago.
  5. No one actually reads my blog anyway, so no one will notice if I miss a day.
  6. I would write, but I really need to go fill up the car / pay bills / work on that thing for work / walk the dog / shampoo the carpet / change the air filters / re-grout the tile / etc etc.
  7. Any number of other excuses

My own nemesis is #1 with a side order of #3.

And then one day becomes two.  Then three.  Suddenly a week has gone by.  Then two.  Then a month.  A year.

But as writers we have to avoid the temptation to not write.  No matter what the excuse is, we must keep at it.  Because, unlike riding a bike, you WILL forget how.  Maybe not the mechanics … but the flame we have inside us that compels us to write will grow dimmer and dimmer until, one day, it just goes out.

So keep the flame alive with your own writing.

 

[Do I get a blogger award for mixing a bike-riding metaphor with a flame-going-out metaphor?]

 

 

 

Musings On Writing Plus a Little Shameless Self-Promotion

I’m afraid I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing in my humble little blog.  There are several reasons for that, all of them lame.  I guess the main one is that it is so darn easy to fall out of the habit of writing.  As I mentioned in one of my posts several weeks ago, you can write every day for months, but skip a day or two and you run the risk of never writing again.  One must push themselves to write.  Or, at least that is true for me.

In spite of that, in the very peak (valley) of my non-writing, I received notice that I’d received my 1000th like.

1000th Like Award

How’s that for irony?  I stop writing and get a gold star for writing.  Maybe WordPress has a sense of humor.  Or else it’s trying to encourage me to write less.

Or, I could stop being cynical for just a moment and maybe take this as a sign that I should keep on writing.  And that’s what I’m choosing to do.

So, I want to thank everyone that pushed me over the 1000-like mark.  I do enjoy knowing you are reading my humble little postings and thinking enough of them to like them.  So, I truly do thank you for sticking with me all these months!

 

 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: