Monday, July 28, 2014

If only she'd had 4 wheels

Duffy men love cars. Michael loves cars. Sean loves cars. Sean's Dad loves cars. The uncles love cars. Having grown up with several Duffy men, Sean's Aunt Suzie knows the car gene runs deep in the family. So when I received this little story from her, I knew it was her way of reaching out to another Duffy woman who has been to more car shows than countable and been involved in more car conversations than imaginable.

While I feel certain Sean would be able to describe my hair and eye color and would miss me more than the car, I am more than confident her could describe, to the minutest detail, my vehicle. Especially if it were a new 2014 Corvette that he is drooling over...

A husband went to police station to report his wife missing:

Husband: I've lost my wife. She went shopping yesterday and has still not come home.
Sergeant: What is her height?
Husband: I really never noticed.
Sergeant: Build?
Husband: Not slim, not really fat.
Sergeant: Color of eyes?
Husband: Never noticed.
Sergeant: Color of hair?
Husband: Changes according to season.
Sergeant: What was she wearing?
Husband: Dress/suit/ I don’t remember exactly.
Sergeant: Did she go in a car?
Husband: Yes.
Sergeant: What kind of car was it?
Husband: Black Audi A8 with super charged 3.0 litre V6 engine generating 333 horsepower with an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual mode. And it has full LED headlights, which use light-emitting diodes for all light functions and has a very thin scratch on the front left door ...
At this point the husband started crying.
Sergeant: Don't worry, sir. We will find your car.
Official: Audi A8 L Security

Friday, July 25, 2014

Friday Fun

A good laugh for those of us who love engineers. Sean, I think you'll relate, especially at the :55 mark:

Thank an Engineer. on LOL Wall, by Magda Lena

Reasons to Become an Engineer      See more funny pics at!

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Be specific. Be very specific.

Engineers need specific instructions. Woe to the woman who deviates from said instructions.

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a homeschool group about my experience at the doctor’s office that led to me being on national television. I wrote out my speech so I could gather my thoughts, but knew I wouldn’t stand up there and read it – just wanted to make sure I had an idea of where I was heading. I prepared a few slides in PowerPoint to go along with my talk, and I put markers in the speech where the slide should appear. And I gave a copy of the speech to Sean, who lovingly agreed to be my PowerPoint guy. I carefully circled all the slide spots so he’d be able to find his cues easily. I thought I had done everything within my power to set him up for success.

Except I forgot he’s an engineer.

I began my talk and quickly got to Slide 1. I waited a few seconds for it to appear but nothing. And then I remembered I’d asked an engineer to be my PowerPoint guy and I knew instantly what was going on. He was waiting for me to say, word-for-word, what was on the paper preceding the, “Slide 1” mark on my paper.

As I stood up there in front of 50 people I barely knew, I cracked up.

Through my laughter, I read exactly what was written before “Slide 1” and then explained to the group what was going on. “My wonderful husband agreed to do the slides for me, but he is an engineer. Unfortunately, I forgot to tell him I wasn’t planning to stand up here and read directly from the paper. Apparently he forgot that I’m not an engineer.”

Thankfully the group laughed with us and we carried on. The talk went well; I was able to convey some important thoughts about parental rights and our need to be more aware of where they’re being taken away, little by little. Plus, Sean and I had a good laugh all the way home about how we both process instructions (I realize that does not sound chuckle-worthy, but it was).

If I’m ever asked to do something like that again, I hope Sean would be willing to be my PowerPoint guy again. I’ll just have to figure out a better way to let him know when to change the slides… like saying, “New slide.” I think he’d appreciate that.

Monday, July 21, 2014

4,100 pages down, none to go

After neglecting laundry, grocery shopping, the general upkeep of my home, and occasionally my family, I finally finished the Harry Potter series. And now I see why, for the past seven years, Michael and Amy have wanted me to read the books. They are amazing.

Harry Potter Logo Sprntrlfan Livvi DeviantartHow I missed being swept away by the amazing tsunami of all things Potter when the books were originally published is beyond me. It’s not like I lived under a rock. Of course, when the first book was released in 1998, I didn’t have kids in the target market for a book about wizards. And the only books I read at that time were about potty training and getting your kids to sleep. So the wave just washed right over me.

This was the extent of my HP knowledge: there was a kid named Harry who had two good friends, Ron and a chick whose name I couldn’t pronounce, and they learned magic at a boarding school with two guys named Snape and Dumbledore so they could take on the evil Voldemort. And that was all I knew.

Maybe I was living under a rock from 1998 – 2007… 

(Spoiler alert for anyone as behind the times as I am.)

A few thoughts on finishing the books:

Several people have asked if I cried when Dumbledore died. Oddly enough, no. I was so surprised and shocked – I couldn’t believe it really happened. And I kept expecting a twist to come that revealed he was just hiding.

I did cry when Fred died. I knew he wasn’t coming back – he was gone for good.

I cried when I finished the last book. Thinking about the three friends (and Ginny), sending their kids off to Hogwarts just killed me. Of course, I laughed when Ron claimed to be the reason everyone was staring at Harry.

When the books came out, there were calls for them to be banned because of all the witchcraft. I’ve never been one to call for a book burning, so I didn’t jump on that band wagon. And now that I’ve read them, I really don’t get it. Good is good and evil is evil. If the books made evil look appealing, then maybe I could see why some parents wouldn’t want their kids to read them. But that is not the case here. Not at all.

Perhaps now I’ll tackle The Lord of the Rings…? Nope, don’t think so. My house and family can’t take me getting involved in another epic book series. Not this summer, anyway.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fire up the grill

It's cook-out season, people, which means it's a sad time to be a vegetarian. Having to watch all those yummy burgers and brats cook on the grill while you're waiting on you veggie burger to warm up in the microwave...

HT: Grey Thinking)

Happy weekend - enjoy that grill!

Monday, July 14, 2014

The picture of optimism

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Fiero report. And that’s because it’s been a while since the Fiero would start. It spent the winter parked in our driveway just taking up space. Which was fine, because we promised Michael we would simply store it until he graduated and he figured out what to do with it.

But last weekend when Sean and Michael were supposed to be mowing the yard, they got to tinkering with the little red car. And the two of them decided that the diagnosis they received when the car broke down last fall was incorrect. And that they, after looking under the hood and getting greasy, knew what was wrong with it. And that it just couldn't cost as much as the dealer up at Michael’s school told them it would cost.

People, if you are ever looking for the definition of optimism, look no further. 

So this past weekend, we rented a U-Haul trailer, loaded up the little red car, and dropped it off at our local Chevy dealer, which could also be known as our 4th child, considering how much of our money has gone there.

Michael was ecstatic. He loves his car and the thought of getting it running again was almost more happiness than his heart could bear. Sean was thrilled at seeing his son so happy. He, too, loves that little two-seater. Amy was happy that the third parking spot in the driveway is finally all hers. And Rebecca was happy about the prospect of riding shot-gun with her big brother again.

I am cautiously optimistic. I know it’s going to cost more than the boys think. And as the Budget Queen, it will be up to me to tell them what’s in the budget. It will ultimately be up to Sean to decide what to do, but I am hoping we won’t open the financial faucet again for this 30 year old car.

And yet, when I saw my son beam as he maneuvered the car off the trailer, and laugh because it was almost like driving it, and nearly cry tears of joy at the thought of it working again, I wanted to shout, “Have all the money! Fix it!” 
Pretty sure the two colleges we’ll be paying this year won’t feel that way, and I know I’ll get my emotions in check as soon as dollar signs flash into view, but man, I want that car to work again.

If only it were as easy to fix as his first ride.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Fun

Enjoy a few laughs to start your weekend right!

Oh, Woody.

harry potter funny

Oh, Michael Scott.

The Office Michael Scott
(H/T: The Office-isms)

Oh, Michael Duffy.

(H/T: Someecards)

Happy weekend!