Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kitchen Sink (end)

Dan builds the new support post. Dan Builds the new support post. I’m sorry that I wrote that twice, but it seemed that Dan was constantly doing everything twice. He would get something finished, and be ready for the next step, but then find a small imperfection in the way it looked. We would rip it out, and do it again. Danny Two-Times he is called. So we are ready to take down the central support posts. The posts that have basically held our house together for the past 30-years are ready to come down.

Dan gets the first piece off, and then I believe Kev got the main post down. We all stood back and watched. The bedroom did not fall through. The new post appeared to be working. But there were still two more pieces of post to take out. Dan said that they were not the ones holding anything up, but they were simply helping support, the support.
So I jump in. I take the Saws All, and start cutting the bottom of the post. The first one comes down with no issues. I look up, and the managers are all having a discussion. I ask, “Should I take this last one out?” Dan gives me the go-ahead. I start in on the base of the last post. I am on my knees, with a saw, cutting potentially the only thing holding the upstairs up. I am sweating like a pig, and I am sore as hell. I have to stop mid cut, just to wipe some sweat off my brow. As I kneel up, I notice that the rest of the team is not standing there. I look around, and I see Dan and Kevin in the living room. Jim was back in the family room. Dennis went to the basement. So they got me in the middle of the kitchen, on my knees, cutting the last post. Those bastards are all off in the safety zones. Well, I cut that board, and to date, the house is still standing.

We are into Sunday now, and we finally have most of the prep work done. We had to put the cement board down on top of the plywood. Let me tell you something, that shit sucks. We had to drill 50 screws into each board. 50 screws had to go into each cement board. You know how hard it is to screw through cement? I’ll tell you how hard it is. It is so hard, that I was the only Bitch doing it. Sure, they all would drive a screw or two in, but for the most part it was me. Apparently it takes 4 guys to prep and mortar an area first, then you throw the board on, and the idiot screw-guy goes to town. Mike was helping screw the boards down, but he was in charge of cleanup. Yes, he was also a manager. He was the CUS. The cleanup Supervisor. He spent the weekend leaning on a broom. He would wait for some one to cut a piece of wood, and then jump all over that dust.

It is tile time. It is Sunday at 2:00, and we are just starting to tile. We started Friday at 5:00, and are just getting to the tile at 2:00 on Sunday. Dan stripes his lines, for level and 90 degree. He gets the quick set mortar stuff ready. We have a system ready. Some of us are bringing the tiles, some are laying the tiles, and Dan is the mortar guy. We get rolling. After a couple of tiles are in, I ask Dan a question. He replied to my question as follows. “How the hell would I know? I never did this before.” I looked at him a little funny and said, “What do you mean you never did this before. I thought that you knew this stuff. We’re counting on you to finish this thing up.” He told me to check the book. I said “What book?” “In my toolbox, there is a book”

For two solid days, I worked. 13 hours a day it was. My knees and arms and back are still sore. I listened to Dan at every turn. I was DB 1, and turned out to be the only DB. We all looked to Dan for guidance. Every word he said, hung in the air, and we responded. Dan was the leader, and I a mere follower. I accepted this, and moved on, and now I find out he was reading a fucking book. There it was, in his toolbox. ‘Tiling 1-2-3.’ Our Project Leader had never done a tile floor before. He was using a freaking ‘how to’ book. What the hell is that? What a weekend.

The floor is mostly finished. Dan has to go do the finishing touches. I will be recovering for days. I have blisters, and cuts, and tendonitis, and hammer shoulder, and all kinds of stuff. I also went out to the bookstore and got a book. It is a self-help book. It is called “How to say NO to family.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kitchen Sink Part 2

I was not on the schedule for Friday night. Pat was going over with Dan and Jim to prep the room. They had to remove all of the appliances out of the Kitchen. The parents left to go check into a hotel for the weekend. Somewhere between the stove and the fridge things got out of hand. We were supposed to be taking up the top layer of the old floor, and fixing any damages. Then we were going to throw some tile right on top, and bam, we would be done. In the excitement of the moment, Pat apparently got promoted to the Manager of Demolition. This is a good personnel choice as far as I could see. If you need a Demolition Man, Pat is definitely it. This was a bad choice as far as ease of project. So Patrick MD went to work.

I reported for duty at my scheduled start time. I was all happy go lucky and chipper for 7 in the morning. I had my coffee and was ready to work. As I approached the front door, I heard saws and hammers. I thought to myself, “Oh good, they are ahead of schedule. We may be done by 5 today. These guys are good. I may not even have to do anything.”
I open the door and mosey over to the kitchen. I believe I was even whistling a little happy tune. I made the bend into the kitchen, and my jaw hit the basement floor. It hit the basement floor because the kitchen floor was gone. That’s right, my jaw dropped right through the rafters that the guys were standing on, and hit the basement floor.

“What happened?” I asked, almost crying. PL Dan started going through some bullshit about having to go to the bare joists and re-do the old floorboards. He was using terms like sister joists, and nailers. He said something about how fast we could throw down new plywood and get right to the Hardy Backer Boards. This is a piece of cake. It had to be done. We had no choice. He was still going on about teams of two, and how easy this all was when I first knew I was in way over my head. “Dan, what the hell happened, and who the f is Hardy Backer?

I took a minute to collect my thoughts. I kept them all to myself because they were all mean thoughts. Then I got my staff issued work belt. I got myself together and jumped in. I was just getting into my work as PO Jim told me about SP Kevin’s idea. You remember Kevin. He was enlisted as a DB, but got promoted because of his Idea. “ We’re going to move the support post from the middle of the kitchen, and get it against that wall over there.” I was a bit stunned and confused. “What the hell are we doing that for?” Mr. Special projects chimed in, “It will make the room bigger. It will really open it up.” Now, I understand the concept here, but there are only two people living in the house. How big of a fucking kitchen do they need?

I got back to work, and was thinking about who I would push into the basement first, PL, PO, or SP. Everyone involved in the project has an important title at this point except me. I’m the only bitch there, until Dennis shows up. His bitch stint lasted about 5 minutes. He got promoted to Electrician. We would not have needed one except for the idea mans grand plan of moving the support beams. Now Dennis is the certified Electrician. So all of these important people are off doing their important stuff, and I am hammering in floorboards. Working like a dog, I was. Bending nails, and hitting thumbs. As I’m working I’m thinking to myself, “I thought the damn floor looked fine the way it was. Who’s brilliant idea was this anyway?”

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Everthing But The Kitchen Sink (part one)

For those that don’t know, I am 1 of 9 siblings. There are eight boys (Idiots) and one girl. The 9 of us are separated by only 10 years. We are all very close. Occasionally we do silly things. This is one of those occasions.

I alluded to this in yesterday’s column. (I know it is a blog, but my brother Kevin refers to it as my column. This makes me feel important, so I am sticking with column.) One of the Idiots put out an all points bulletin for help on the weekend of the 24th. The job was mom and dads kitchen floor. This APB was a request for all hands on deck. It was made clear that Dan was going to be Project Leader. Dan is a good choice. Dan is a handy dude. Dan knows his stuff, and he does all of his projects well. Dan is also a bit of a perfectionist.

Jim was the one that sent out the APB. Jim is the baby of the family, and lives right around the corner from the parents. So somewhere along the line Idiot Jim gets to talking to Idiot Dan about re-doing the floor. Idiot Dan gets to liking the idea and joins in. Once Jim has Dan on board, he knows all of us other Idiots will be in, cause we know, that Dan knows what he’s doing. Jim is not the Project Leader, but he is the Project Organizer. So he gets the people on board. He gets his buddies truck. He gets all of the material. His function is basically to make sure that Dan has what he needs, and is happy while working. So we have the P.L. in Dan, and The P.O. in Jim. Jim and Dan are the ones running the gig.

When I got the call from Jim it is put to me that it would be pretty simple. I explained to Jim that when it comes to power tools, I am not very good. Power tools and I do not have a good working relationship. I don’t know how to work them, and they don’t work when I use them. He lets me know that I am just going there to be a grunt. I am just one of Dan’s Bitches. “LW, you are going to hammer some nails, and screw some screws. That’s it.” This sounds good to me, cause after all, who doesn’t like to get hammered and screw. Then he says, “You can be a runner. If Dan needs something, you go get it. When he needs a beer, you get him a beer.” This also sounds easy. This also means that every time Dan needs a beer, I can get myself a beer. So I get to drink beer, get hammered and screw. “I’m in Dimmy.” I say. So I enter the weekend as DB 1. Dan’s Bitch 1.

Kevin should have been DB 2. Somewhere along the line he changed his function. He was one of Dan’s Bitches, but he was one with an idea. Yeah, he got promoted, mid project. Idiot Kevin was the one that turned this into 13-hour days. He thought we should move some things…. like support beams. So he got moved from DB 2, and promoted to Manager in Charge of Special Projects. He was now the S.P. Kevin took this title seriously; cause every time I turned around he was off doing a special project.

Idiot Dennis was there. Idiot Mike was there. Idiot Pat was there. Naturally these guys were DB’s 3 through 5. Idiot Bill was there in spirit. He was DB 6. It is actually hard to refer to Bill as an idiot in this case, cause he is the only one smart enough to be 1500 miles away. So the crew is set. We are ready to roll. The project kicks off. Operation Kitchen Floor started on Friday night, the 23rd.

Monday, June 26, 2006


I had a rough weekend. I was doing things that I am not qualified to do, and my ineptness showed. One of my idiot brothers decided that we should all get together and re-do my parents kitchen floor. Then in the middle of the project another one of my idiot brothers thought we should redesign the entire kitchen. So I spent the weekend as an idiot amongst idiots. Dan was the only one that knew what he was doing, and trust me; he let us know it every five minutes. We laughed a lot, and we cursed a lot, so actually I rate the weekend as above average. Anytime you can laugh and curse without your parents being in earshot, it’s a fun time. All of the 8 boys chipped in on this project except for William. He used some lame excuse about living in Florida and that he is 1500 miles away. That’s crap. This is not what my story is about. My story is about collars.

I wear collared shirts to work. Golf shirts. I don’t know if it is the way they hang in the closet, or the way they are washed, but my collars get all messed up. They are not even. The right side is half up and the left is half down. They never seem to match up. So I woke up after a painful weekend of being abused, and was kind of cranky. I got dressed, and put on one of those crooked collared shirts. I was brushing my hair when I noticed the messed up shirt and I had a bit of a meltdown. I started bitching and moaning about how my shirts are always messed up. Yes, I blamed my wife. In the middle of my hissy fit, I woke up the boys. They came to see what the commotion was all about.

Vic was just taking my silly tirade in stride. She was antagonizing me, but letting me vent at the same time. Somewhere along the line I mentioned the possibility of ironing my shirts. She chuckled, and said, “Iron? I don’t iron. Iron them yourself.” I knew that was coming so I slammed a few more doors and acted like an idiot, then I went off to work. As I was leaving I could hear Luke saying something. He was whispering to Vic. After I was at work for an hour or so, I felt a little bad. I had my coffee already and realized that I had acted a bit like a baby. I called to apologize. Vic said that it was a good thing that I called because Luke said that I should apologize. What Luke was whispering to her was this. “Mommy, dad should apologize to you. You don’t need an iron. You always do my shirts perfectly.”

Is he a kiss ass, or what?

Friday, June 23, 2006


First let me say that I will be retiring every other Wednesday from now on. The attention is awesome, so I think that a bi-weekly retirement post is in order. If the ratings drop again, I will have to go to a weekly retirement schedule. William seems to think that I have set out on a shameless ploy to attract readers. This was not the intent when I was first canceling the program, but it worked, so I will run with it.

Now to my story: I golfed last night. Thursdays is league night at work. So I went out with all of my buddies from work, and got beat up pretty good on the course. I do not concern myself with winning or losing; I just go for the friendship and camaraderie. I find it fascinating what is talked about on the golf course between men. Most of all, we are all out there talking about how much we love our wives and stuff, but occasionally the topic changes to something different. Last night got a bit strange.

It was 90 something and humid where we are, so it was a bit uncomfortable out there. So as we made the turn, and got to the 10th fairway, I noticed I was developing a bit of chafing. Now, chafing is not something that I usually talk about, but it was hard to ignore my cowboy walk after the 11th hole. One of the guys asked if I was all right, thinking I may have hurt myself. I did not know how to answer other than be honest. So I said, “ I’m fine, just having a bit of a chafing issue here.” They laughed at me, but they all had that look of sorrow for me. They have all been there. They threw out all of the terminology that we men use for chafing in the private areas. “ Oh, you got a bit of Crotch Rot going huh.” Said one guy. “ Nothing worse than Monkey Butt on the golf course.” Another mused. One guy referred to it simply as The Rot.

The conversation then led to such things as grooming and care to avoid The Rot. We went through the theories of Boxers or Briefs, and how they relate to The Rot. See, I was wearing briefs, as I prefer the support that they give the family jewels. The other three guys were wearing boxers. They say that they are a better preventative of The Rot. I find that boxers leave my guys to exposed to freedom, and feel it is no better than going commando. Anyway, all along I am developing third degree chafing, and my buddies are rubbing it in. With friends like these… you know the rest. So I lost to all three of the guys in golf, plus got some chafing issues to deal with. I am past the worst parts of the chafing, and am not walking like I just got off of a horse anymore, but I will not be fully healed for another day. Hopefully next week, one of them has an issue. Maybe one of them will have briefs on, and develop chafing. Then I can laugh at their expense. I need to go now; I have to hit the store. I need some diaper rash ointment.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Back, By Popular Demand

It makes me smile to see the outpouring of affection that came from my retirement. Fans, from all over the place, are asking me to stick around. People that I did not even know are reading me are asking me to stay. The reason that it makes me smile is because it makes William cringe. He is jealous of the response that I got from being cancelled, and that made my day. So, for that, and that alone, I have decided to come out of retirement. I have been retired for 23 hours now, but the people have spoken. I have always been a blogger of the people, and for the people.


I was cleaning out the garage the other day. I have a Two-Stuff Garage. I had to take all of the stuff out of the garage, and then put it all back in. This process happens 4 to 5 times a year. It is a painful task, as most of you know. My kids were helping me. Now, kids like to help, but they are 3-minute helpers. After 3 minutes of a task, they are off playing with something that they are not supposed to. So they really didn’t hold up their end of the garage clean up. I was working alone. I’m like that anyway. I’m a lone wolf task doer. I’m a Maverick if you will. When I’m cleaning the garage, I don’t need a Goose in the back seat telling me where the bogies are. “Big pile of dust on the floor to the left Mav. Tools out of place at 3 o-clock Maverick.” See, that stuff doesn’t work for me. My wife likes to tell that kind of stuff, and it does not make for pleasant chores. So I work alone.

The kids are off hitting each other with hammers and crowbars, and I am trying to concentrate. Then, suddenly like a bullet, a bird buzzes the tower. A bird flew into the garage doing mach 3 and almost hits me in the head. He starts freaking out. He got in the garage, but could not figure out how to get out of the garage. He is flapping his wings and bumping his head on the ceiling. Every once in a while, he would nose dive right for me. This bird was pissed. I grabbed the snow shovel from the wall and started defending myself. I would take a swipe and then duck. With every move, the darn bird would drop a bomb. He was shitting all over my garage. I would take another swipe, and he would do this dive and turn move to avoid the shovel, and then beeline at my head. My boys start yelling at me. “Don’t hurt the bird dad. Be nice to the bird.”

Luke was especially upset. He has this whole ‘God’s Creatures’ thing that he says. Don’t hurt the bird dad; it’s one of God’s Creatures. Don’t step on the bug dad; it’s one of God’s creatures. My Mother-in-Law taught him this. This ‘God’s Creature’ mentality is the same thing that has me running a rabbit farm in the front lawn. So I already have an issue with the ‘God’s Creature’ mentality. So I did what every great father would do. I said, “Luke, enough of this God’s creature crap, the damn bird is shitting all over the garage, and I’m going to kill it. If you can’t handle watching me kill one of god’s creatures, go out back.” Luke started grabbing for the shovel. He started hitting me in the legs. Luke was defending the bird. It came down to me against a freaking bird, and Luke chose the bird. So here I am being attacked by a bird from above, and then Luke launches a ground assault at my legs. I start calling for back up. “Kyle, help me out here. Come get Luke off of me, so that I can kill this bird.” Kyle, being the smart one in the family says, “Dad, I ain’t coming in there, that bird is pooping all over everything.” So, I retreated. I left the bird in the garage for the better part of the afternoon. The dumb bird eventually found his way out. Then I spent the better part of the evening cleaning up bird shit from the garage. God’s Creatures suck.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


The ratings are down. Way down. The readership has gone to other places. The powers that be have decided that the time is up for D.V.D. The Lawnwhisperer has a strange following. The people in charge of the demographics can’t put their finger on exactly where The Lawnwhisperer fits. It appears that the show will be cancelled. They are comparing him with the one season stint that Dennis Miller did on Monday Night Football. He is a funny guy, but wasn’t right for football. LW is not right for blogging. He is a funny guy, and has a fucking tremendous lawn, but he does not fit with the Blogosphere. So, to his 5 readers, thank you and good night. It was a bit of fun while it lasted. Dad vs. Dad is over. Maybe we’ll catch you in re-runs. Maybe it will be picked up in syndication.

Monday, June 12, 2006


It was raining pretty good. It was just after a 40-minute rain delay. I’m standing in the rough, with about 170 yards between the green and me. The rough is soaked, my grips are wet, and I have to carry a portion of the lake, and two bunkers. These are daunting circumstances for a pathetic golfer such as myself. These alone are tough to overcome. Just as I am getting into my pre-shot routine, my phone rings. It is my wife. She may as well have just come over to the course, picked up my ball, and threw it into the water. She would have saved me the embarrassment.

“Oh John, you should see this patio set I am looking at. It is awesome. Can you come over here when you are done and see if you like it?”

I reply, “Is it wicker, and does it need cushions? Cause if that is the case, then I don’t like it.”

“How do you know if you like it unless you see it?” She says.

“Cause I don’t like wicker, and I don’t like cushions.”

Anyway, I hang up the phone. I am a bit confused as to why she felt the need to call me then, for that. Needless to say, I hit the ball into the water. She messed me up. Yes, I blame her for that shot.

I like the look of wicker; I don’t like the comfort of wicker. I like a nice cushioned seat; I don’t like having to monitor the weather for leaving them outside. I am a simple man really. On the way home from golf, she calls me again. I tell her to just buy the freaking wicker set, cause I know she wants it. I also know that no matter what I say, we are getting the wicker set. She begs me to meet her there, so that I can look at everything, and we can pick it out together. To all the men out there, does she really care about my opinion? The answer is no, but I meet her there and we spend an hour looking at patio sets. We looked at green ones, yellow ones, white ones and black ones. We saw wicker ones, steel ones plastic ones and mesh ones. It was a brutal time. All the while, I know damn well that we are buying the green wicker one. She cost me a stroke when she first called. We bought the wicker one. It is on my patio. Why did I have to go to the store? Every time I sit in the green wicker seat, I will remember that shot that went into the water. Why does she mess with my golf game like that?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I understand the significance of the whole”6-6-6” thing. I know that supposedly; back in the day, someone branded people with the 6-6-6, and they were bad people. The Devil, Satan, Lucifer; whatever it is you call him, chose his souls, and they became his bad henchmen. They go out, and do bad stuff on behalf of Satan. Well, I am writing today to tell you, Don’t Believe the Hype.

I am not saying to not believe in the devil. I am not telling you that this type of stuff is not real. It is real, but the numerical significance is incorrect. Yeah, the number that is significant is 07-13-01. That’s right, 07-13-01, the day Luke was born. Lukifer, if you will. He has all the makings of a Devil.

Last night, while under my watch, Luke went off to the bathroom. Kyle and I were hanging out, watching television. After a while I realized that Luke had not returned yet. So I went to the bathroom door, and asked him if everything was ok. He said he was fine, and could he get a little privacy. I totally understand his request for privacy, so I leave him alone again. After another few minutes, I see that he has not returned yet, so I go back. “Luke, are you done in there yet?” His reply made me nervous, “Ummmmmm, no. I am still going. Ummmm, can’t I just get a minute to myself? Ummmm, leave me alone dad.” While he is talking to me I can hear all kinds of commotion going on. I tried to open the door, but he has it locked. I decided, that I had to break in.

I got a wire hanger from the closet, and bent the edge. Wire hangers act as keys to our interior doors, cause we lost all of the keys to our interior doors. So I start Macgyvering the door open. Lukifer is on the other side of the door, holding it closed. I manage to get inside, and there is Luke, naked, with shaving cream all over him. There is shaving cream all over the walls. There is shaving cream all over the floor. There is shaving cream all over everything. Not only is there shaving cream everywhere, but he tried to clean it up. He was using toilet paper to clean it up. For those of you who do not know the effects of mixing shaving cream and toilet paper, it is not a fun combination. “Luke, what the heck are you doing? Why is there shaving cream all over the place? Get your butt in that shower right now. Don’t touch another thing, and get in that shower. Why, why are you in here playing with shaving cream?” Then came his reply, “I didn’t do it dad. It just started coming out. I was going to the bathroom, and the blue stuff just started spraying out.” I asked, “You expect me to believe that the shaving cream was spraying itself? You did not touch it, but it sprayed all over the bathroom.”

“Yeah, that’s weird, isn’t it dad?” He looked up at me, with those cute little blue eyes, and said, “I didn’t make the mess dad, I was just cleaning it up.”

Friday, June 02, 2006

Water Conservation

I got home from work yesterday, and set the sprinkler up on the lawn. It is part of my daily routine. I water certain sections each night as needed. When we get enough rain, I don’t do it, but in the dry times I water my lawn. I hear voices in my head that tell me to do so. I hear a soft whispering voice, “If you water, it will grow.” I happen to listen to the voices in my head. Sometimes the voices get me in trouble, like when they say, “Go golfing, but tell your wife you are working.” I try to tune out the voices on those days, but they are strong. My wife doesn’t buy into the “voices made me do it” theory, but I still use the excuse. Anyway, yesterday Mrs. Whisperer met me on the lawn when I was setting up my water.

She came out and said, “You can’t water the lawn. We got our water bill today, and there is a note about a drought warning. It says to lower your water use by 5 percent.” I did not believe her, so I made her show me the bill. It did in fact say to help conserve, and cut back. I did not need the letter to tell me that we are in a drought; after all I am the Lawnwhisperer. My Lawn tells me when we are in a drought. If we weren’t in a drought, I wouldn’t have to water the lawn. You see I am smart that way. So, my wife wants me to stop watering the lawn as our water conservation.

This poses a huge problem. If I stop watering the lawn, the lawn will not grow. If the lawn will not grow, I will not be able to cut it. If I am not able to cut it, I will be lost. It is my passion, the lawn. I need to whisper to my lawn. Therefore, I will continue to water it through the drought. I told my wife that I would send the water company a letter and explain that we have been conserving water for a long time. I told her this, “Come on, we don’t run the washing machine very often. That is conserving water. The dishwasher isn’t exactly running wild. I mean, you don’t have dishes when there is minimal cooking going on.” As I was telling her this, I could see that she was getting a bit annoyed at me. She looked like she was getting mad. So I stopped and said, “Honey, that is not me talking, that’s the voices in my head. They told me to say that stuff.”

See, the damn voices got me in trouble again. As she walked in the house, I heard them say, “If you water, it will grow.” So I left the sprinkler on.
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