when I started this blog five years ago, I was a pet sitter and the name animal-crackers made sense. now I'm a stay-at-home-dad and freelance writer, but rather than confuse everyone by getting a different blog, it's just easier to keep posting things here.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
things to do
2) Replace the rotting wood on the carport support beam.
3) Replace the rotting shingles on the eaves.
4) Buy and install new, small shed.
5) Empty the rotting shed.
6) Beat the crap out of the rotting shed.
7) Finish removing the godawful ugly paneling in the kitchen.
8) Remove, sand, paint and rehang the kitchen cabinet doors.
9) Sand and paint kitchen cabinets.
10) Buy and install new hinges and hardware for kitchen cabinets.
11) Replace bathroom faucet.
12) Repaint bathroom.
13) Rip up office carpet and replace with something less disgusting.
14) Replace dining room light.
15) Replace porch light.
16) Install hatch to access attic.
17) Empty out the attic.
18) A new mailbox might be nice, too.
19) Remove and replace the vinyl siding.
20) Remove and replace the energy sucking windows.
21) Fix the buckling laminate flooring near the mudroom door.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I grew up in small town Pennsylvania - Alba, population 150. And let me tell you, there is no bitterness. We lived each day of our miserable meaningless little lives as if it were heaven on Earth.
When they closed the label-making factory, we jumped for joy. When they closed the sticker-making factory, we toasted with champaign. And when they dairy farmers lost their land to the banks due to sinking milk prices, we all got naked and partied for a week.
But I left for college and missed the real joy. First time I returned for summer break, I learned that half of my graduating class was strung out on heroin. Now that's a party. And a year later -- crystal meth was all the rage.
After college I left for North Carolina and eventually Texas. But I learned in 2000 from my uncle -- a senator's aide in Pa. -- that many of the dairy farms had been replaced.
With pig farms.
Now that's progress.
Small towns look after themselves. Growing up, there were many groups of people we were expected to distrust and hate. Lawyers, bankers, doctors, flat-landers, city-slickers, several ethnic groups -- just to name a few.
And politicians. Especially politicians. (Except for my uncle, of course.)
Every four years, presidential candidates made promises about how they'd help us pay the mortgage. And every four years my father said he voted for the same candidate -- Butch.
Butch was the mutt who sat on the front porch at McClure's Automotive. He was very popular. Over the years, he probably garnered hundreds of votes from enthusiastic, non-bitter small town people like my father.
So for you politicians who think we're bitter -- the best way to win the hearts of small town Pa. is to visit McClure's and pay your respects to Butch. That dog carries the hopes and dreams of every small town Pennsylvanian on his shoulders.