Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beer-ventions and Beer-novations...

Beer. Like a pack of Pavlovian Dogs, just the mention of the word 'beer' can get the typical Suthunah to salivate and crave the taste of hops and barley. What we (they) do for beer goes beyond enjoyment and borders on fanatical religion. More than just the typical Beer Hat, or foam Beer Cozy, these inventions boggle the imagination.

Today's Beer-vention and/or Beer-novation is above. This guy is home due most likely to an injury he sustained which keeps him couch ridden. One can clearly see the crutch laying there beside the couch. One can also clearly see the beer (in the proper foam beer cozy) in his right hand with a cooler of backups for when the current can is completed. (Suthuhn note: When drinking beer, one must always have a backup.)

The Suthunah in me smiles at his 'beer-novation'. He's got a bird's-eye view of the neighborhood and can act as crossing guard, neighborhood watch and air traffic controller all from the comfort of his Beer-ca-lounger. I bet he's even got himself a cell phone to call the local constabulary should something untoward occur within his 'beer-view.' His Beer-genuity using a couch rather than a simple recliner also leaves space for his wife, lady friend or BFF (Beer Filtching Friend.) Barring companionship, he's got enough room to take a nap without having to climb down from his perch.

Now, that said, the realist in me wonders at this Beer-vention. If he's injured (and the crutch would tend to support this theory,) he had to have put that couch up on the roof before the injury (or had a few neighborhood Beer-enhanced engineers to assist in the endeavor.) Additionally, he has to have some way to get UP to the roof which doesn't put a lot of strain on his injury. A ladder? Cherry Picker, perhaps?

And finally, we all know that after a few beers, one needs the use of porcelain facilities to 'recycle' the beer in the proper recycling device. I don't see one, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a 5 gallon jug hiding behind the trusty Beer-ca-lounger.

It is the Beer Mysteries which keep us guessing. Another in a long line of Beer-novations and exciting Beer-ventions created exclusively here in the south.

I'm so proud. I'm a bit verklempt. Yeah...I need a beer.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Bug Me.

I've said it before and I'm saying it again. The South is full of bugs. Spiders, caterpillars, creepy crawlies of all kinds. It's the weather. The extra moisture and heat combine to make bugs grow and grow fast. I've pointed out in previous posts that we've had a lot of problems with bugs in my area especially since the flood. Now I need to take the time to point out what living in the south with my wife (and said bugs) is like.

You see, my wife is Native American. This is not the problem. The problem is that she abhors killing anything that may be beneficial. Like spiders. OK, so let's get it out in the open, I'm one of those guys who hates spiders. Yeah, go ahead and laugh, but to me the only good spider is a dead spider. That whole thing of "They're more scared of you than you are of them" is hogwash. If they're so scared why aren't they screaming like me? Spiders. Shudder.

My wife on the other hand, reveres them. Case in point:
Recently we found this spider (above) out front of our house. It is approximately the size of a small dog. OK, so maybe it's not that large, but as spiders go, this is a big one. At about the same time, we found three (3) more of these around the house. (THREE MORE...I thought for sure they were going to invade, and barricaded myself in the bathtub with a can of Bug Spray.) They are, in fact, Golden Orb Spiders and benign, non venomous, blah blah and blah. I will refrain from any glowing descriptions of webs or beneficial actions other than to say they are big, fast and an evil looking day-glo yellow on black. Yeeesh.

My initial response (other than running and screaming like a little girl): Smash it with a brick. Burn the carcass and put it on a stake as a warning to all the others. And then, spray the entire house to make sure there are no others.

My wife's response: Feed it. That's right, hunt down and catch things to put on the web. Big fat juicy grasshoppers, water bugs, small rodents and stray dogs. (Yes, that's right, I'm joking again, I wouldn't catch rodents...) Toss them in the big web and watch the spider wrap them up to eat later.

Now, I have to admit, with all this attention over the past few weeks, I've grown rather fond of my wife's little 'pets' but then something strange happened. One day, they all just...disappeared. No, they are not hibernating under the leaves nearby, they are not laying around on the ground. They just stopped being there. No evidence, no forwarding address. Now, the screaming little girl in me figures they have gone into the house and are planning to abduct me in the middle of the night. (Cue the bad dreams, cold sweats and aforementioned barricading in the bathtub.)

I cannot find anything on the Internet which says actually where they have gone, it says they just are gone. Dead. My research also says that they die with the first frost and and this is the bad part: leave behind a sac of eggs.

Oh. Joy. Eggs.

If you need me, I'll be hiding in the bathtub with the bug spray.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Recovery is an Ongoing Thing

Nashville is getting back to its normal self. You remember the flood? Back in May? Every so often, we get new reports of something reopening (The Grand Olde Opry, a Local Target, etc) and we all smile as another piece of our city is back to normal.

One of the interesting sidelights to our recovery was that so many of the buses were damaged. I ride the bus to work and felt this firsthand. The city borrowed many buses from other areas and this kept service from being uninterrupted. Then came this last week.

While waiting in the early morning dark for my bus, up pulls this huge double long sleek (and QUIET) bus. Its nose is reminiscent of the Space Shuttle and the door opens with a quiet whoosh. I half expect to hear the voice of HAL 9000. I would like to have taken a picture but my camera takes lousy pictures in direct sunlight let alone o-dark thirty, so I caught this photo of the bus later in the day as it cruised through the downtown 'Music City Central' bus station. It was so quiet when it pulled up that it was at the bus stop before I knew it.

The lights inside were bright and everyone was smiling. There were no scratches or graffitti and it had that New Bus smell. Not like new car smell, but definitely new bus smell. I like it. No body odor, no onion bratwurst, no leftover spilled coke or (god forbid) urine - or worse. It was heaven.

I welcome these new buses and am glad to see the South returning to it's glory once again. Ride on, Nashville, Ride on!

A side note, 1 week later. The big new bus has been moved to another route. We're back to one of the old busses. It was fun while it lasted.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Invention Intervention - The Lawn Gadget

I receive a lot of flack about southern 'inventions.' I call them inventions but what they really are is a unique use for something. In many regards, this is what is referred to as "forward thinking" where a problem is tackled by means not normally taken.

Take for example the picture above. Sure he could have gone out and spent a lot of money on some sprinkler that does the same thing, but let's face it. Putting this baby together took engineering and manufacturing skills you won't see in New Yawk.

This is one of the real problems I'm starting to have in the South as I get closer and closer to Suthunhood. (Is that a word?) I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've headed into the local hardware store with a problem only to have them tell me that what I want to do can't be done. Yet, with a little thought and a lot of wandering, I can usually find some part to work for what I want to do. Sure the part is meant for something else entirely, but it's that Suthun thinking that takes over in times like these.

This is the true Suthun Inventor at work. Taking some common problem and fixing it with uncommon thought. If only the guys at the hardware store were more 'suthun' like me.

Uh...like I'd like to be considered. One day. Soon. Maybe.