Showing 1 - 10 of 109 posts found matching keyword: mom
As you may recall, I destroyed Mom's 2012 Kia Optima back at the beginning of August. Replacing it has turned out to be a bit of an uphill journey.
After a month of insurance negotiations and car shopping, Mom picked out a 2017 Nissan Murano the first weekend in September. (She was looking at a model with a heated steering wheel, and I talked her into saving $5000 by buying a slightly different car. As you will see, I should have kept my mouth shut.)
The Murano had all the safety features she wanted plus luxury to spare. Unfortunately, it also had problems. We only had it for two weeks when I discovered rust under the dashboard (and under the driver's seat, and behind the rear seats, and around the spare tire . . .). It took Nissan another month to declare the problem a factory defect. Eventually, Mom negotiated a buyback under Georgia's Lemon Law. Goodbye, sweet Murano.
(On a related note, we're selling a set of black WeatherTech® floor mats for a 2017 Murano, if anyone is in the market.)
Mom started her car search over from the beginning. She still wanted safety features, but she never got used to driving such a large SUV. So she got something smaller instead. Introducing Mom's 2018 Ford Escape!
I promise you, I've been over the whole car with a magnifying glass. There's a scratch on the interior of the driver's side headlight cover, but I can't find anything else wrong with it. It certainly isn't rusted. (And it does have a heated steering wheel.)
The Escape only has a three-year warranty on the interior electronics, so if I'm going to ruin this one, I need to act fast. I'll keep you posted.
This year Mom woke me up early (read: noon) because she was eager to open her Christmas presents. She actually shouted that I needed to wake up and see what Santa Claus brought me. Then she tossed a small bag of coal in my bed. Bah, humbug!
I gave Mom a coffee press. She gave me a VR headset that turned my smartphone into a migraine-inducing nightmare machine. Together, we had a great time. I can't wait to do it all again next year.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: christmas family holidays mom walter
For no good reason, I bought a Wilton gingerbread house kit from Michaels earlier this month with the plan that Mom and I would build it together. That plan was somewhat spoiled when my father interrupted our house raising. (He needed tech support for the Kindle I bought him last Christmas that he just now decided to activate for the first time.) Mom went to bed while I was on the phone, and I finished our house without her.
We went shopping for a do-over replacement kit, but Michaels was sold out. Rather than give up, I doubled down. I found a recipe and made enough gingerbread for two more houses, one for Mom to decorate and one for me. (No tech support call could defeat this plan!)
In the photo above, the shared kit house is on the left with the rainbow roof. Mom's greenhouse is in the middle. My sloppy icicle house is on the right.
For my standalone house, I decided I was only going to use candy accessories that I would eat. Turns out, I don't like the taste of rainbows. Who knew?
Though I'm reasonably satisfied with the final results, the best part wasn't decorating but baking the gingerbread. (The house smelled so good!) Therefore, next year I think we'll just decorate homemade gingerbread men. And we'll turn off our cellphones, just in case.
Today was a UGA home game. The Bulldogs played Samford in Sanford Stadium at 7:30pm. However, I wasn't there to see it. Instead, I had to spend the day on Tybee Island with Mom.
Don't get me wrong. I love Tybee. (And I love Mom.) Tybee is a charming coastal town with some fantastic scenery. (And Mom is Mom.) I'm happy to report that most of the island survived Hurricane Irma just fine, though plenty of scars from last week's storm were still visible everywhere. But it wasn't Tybee's beauty or Irma's wrath (or Mom's Momness) that brought us to the Georgia coast. No, we were here to attend friend Brian's beach wedding in the shadow of Tybee's historic lighthouse.
Mom rented a wonderful house at 117 Cedarwood Drive, and she, Audrey, July, and I used it as a base of operations for our weekend stay. Mom frequently visited the beach (just a few hundred yards to our north) to collect shells, each time leaving Audrey behind to rue Tybee's draconian "no pets on the beach" policy.
Sadly, I somehow managed not to take any pictures of the groom or bride, Veronika. For that matter, I don't have any pictures of groomsmen friends Ken, Keith, or Michael, either. The wedding party didn't show up on the beach until after the wedding officiant warned the attendees not to take pictures because that was the wedding photographer's job. Instead, you'll just have to be satisfied with this screen grab from the lovebird's official wedding website.
In fact, the only picture I have of the wedding was taken by friend James. (James was one of my few friends in attendance who wasn't actually in the wedding party. Matt was the other. Why was I not in the wedding party? I'm sure it had no small part to do with my vowing to Brian after Keith's wedding that I would never wear anything dressier than jeans to a wedding again. "Except mine?" Brian asked. "Even yours," I answered. That's what I like about Brian. He listens.) James couldn't resist disobeying the order not to take any pics, but he somehow still managed not to get the wedding party. (Reminder: "Never do what James does.")
I haven't attended a lot of weddings. I don't like them. Yet I found this one left an especially bittersweet taste for many reasons, not the least of which was that Brian was the last of my single friends likely to get married. From this point forward, we're all more likely to reunite at a funeral than another wedding. That's an uncomfortable thought, though it's better than imagining the possibility that I may have to sit through yet another wedding ceremony.
Good luck, Brian and Veronika. Do me a favor and be so happy together that we don't have to do this all over again, ok? Thanks.
Today is the first day of the 12th Annual Batman and Football Month at Wriphe.com!
I started the celebration early by attending last night's inaugural Georgia State University game at
Turner Field Petit Field at Georgia State Stadium. (Yeah, that name's not going to stick.)
This is an optical illusion. The stands were not this full.
Seven years ago Mom and I attended her alma mater's first ever football game, and we weren't going to miss the unveiling of their new home. Two games in seven years: that's better than I've managed for my old high school. And it might be the last GSU game I ever attend. If GSU and the city of Atlanta can't get their act together better than what I saw yesterday, I won't be back even in another seventy years.
It's not that the game was especially bad, although Georgia State was horribly outplayed by Tennessee State University. (The final score was 17-10 TSU, but it wasn't remotely that close.) Fittingly, the beer stands outnumbered concession stands three to one, which is a good ratio if your team sucks. Also disappointing was the pretzels. I never stood in the long lines to buy one, but I could see from a distance that they had ceased being twisted into "GSU" shapes. Pooh.
But what really, really sucked was the traffic. From the time I exited I-85 onto Fulton Street, it took an hour and ten minutes to drive two blocks to reach the Green Lot where I had prepaid for parking. While I'm no civil engineer, the problem appeared to be that there was absolutely no one directing traffic. Not a single policeman was seen until I was inside the stadium. Traffic was left to direct itself, and it went even more poorly than you might expect. I've been to a lot of football games, and this was the first time ever that it took longer to arrive than leave. (We left in the third quarter to avoid a second round of traffic jousting, and departure took all of 2 minutes.) If MLB games were anything like this, no wonder the Braves fled to the suburbs.
Ultimately, despite all obstacles, I had a good time because I'm just so glad that football season is back. (And the terrific TSU marching band helped, too.) Welcome back, football!
This weekend, Mom and I (and Audrey and July) traveled north to Copperhill, TN, where we watched the Great American Eclipse of 2017 from the parking lot of the First United Methodist Church.
We had intended to watch from McCaysville, GA, where my grandfather once considered buying a grocery store. The GA/TN state line bisects the town into McCaysville and Copperhill. Both were in the path of totality, and since the sun didn't care which side we were on, we didn't either.
If you didn't see the eclipse in totality, know that the first thing that happens as the sun disappears is that the temperature of the light gets wrong, like a failing fluorescent light. Gradually it gets darker (and cooler), until it looks (and feels) like twilight. Then the sun disappears, and you can take off your sun glasses and see some of the brighter stars.
Here are some pics I took of the process about 5 minutes apart. The final pic is during the blackout. (Note that Mom is looking at me, not the sun. The steeple shadow will give you an idea where in the sky the sun was.)
(Also note that the light on the right side of the building in the third pic came from the two streetlights which switched on just before totality. Mom's not in that last pic because she had moved over here.)
I do not have a picture of eclipse itself. My camera wasn't up to the task. You can see plenty of better pics elsewhere. It's not like true night. Despite what you see in photographs, the sky never really goes black. It turns a beautiful shade of royal blue, and the sun's corona is clearly visible as a white halo.
Some call it "unbelievable" or "miraculous." I wouldn't use either word. But it is pretty cool looking. And it's certainly worth a look in person if you get a chance.
If you've visited this blog in the past week, you've heard about "the accident." (The car has now been totaled, by the way. Totaled by a trailer! They don't make 'em like the used to.)
Anyway, the whole reason Mom and I were in South Carolina was because we were traveling home from our trip to the first practice round at the 2017 PGA Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.
This year's tournament is being held at Quail Hollow, about 10 miles from downtown. We stayed downtown on Sunday night and took a 45-minute light rail and bus trip to the the course on Monday morning. The forecast called for rain, and rain it did. When we finally reached the course, it was soaking wet.
I'm no golfer, so I can't really relate to the course as a playing field for sport. And it's concessions didn't hold a candle to the delicious fare served at The Masters in Augusta. However, I do enjoy a good walk in a well-manicured park. The course was beautiful, and despite the overcast sky, we saw plenty of stars.
For those of you unfamiliar with the big name golfers, that's Rickie Fowler swinging the club above. We also spied Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Brooks Koepka (who I've called "Cupcake" ever since hearing someone else refer to him as such in Augusta), and more. Rory McIlroy was particularly impressive, not because of his play, but because immediately after completing the course, he spent a very, very long time signing an autograph for every kid who wanted one. It's always heartening to see a pro player appreciating his fans.
All in all, it was a good trip. I think Mom enjoyed herself, and that was really the point. (They were her tickets, after all.) I think she'd do it again.
Well, most of it.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: charlotte family golf mom north carolina ricky fowler walter
For reference, this was the "other guy."
Like I said, not a scratch.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: cars family mom south carolina walter
I'd say "you should see the other guy," but his truck didn't take a scratch. Some people are lucky that way.
Comments (2)| Leave a Comment | Tags: cars family mom south carolina walter
Mom and I spent yesterday afternoon at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia.
The Booth Museum is a large, modern building that seems out of place in small-town Cartersville. Having been to several museums of the American West that are actually in the American West, I figured Booth would be a lackluster experience. I'm glad to say that I was quite wrong.
Yes, these are two separate pieces.
The museum was founded in 2003, and most of its collection is around that vintage or newer. Whether a side effect of the newness or the intention of its founders, the museum chooses to embrace the fact that most its pieces celebrate a time and way of life that many of its artists never experienced. In function, it's a museum of the mythology of the idealized American West. Frankly, that makes for a pretty enjoyable experience.
The "Mythic West" gallery is where the action is.
The whole reason Mom wanted to visit the museum was to see the Newseum's travelling collection of President Kennedy photographs. I thought that was a weird thing to include in a Western museum. Little did I know that the Booth's most impressive permanent exhibit is a signed letter from each of the first 44 American presidents (from Washington through Obama, whose letter is actually addressed to the museum). Wow. I'm sure they'll add Trump to the collection eventually, once he learns to write.
Long story short, the Booth Museum is totally worth a visit, and I'm glad we went.
Comments (1)| Leave a Comment | Tags: art cartersville family georgia mom museums the duke trumps america