We might have gotten some shit in our water, as a side effect of the botched rolling blackouts during this Texas Big Freeze. Our water trickled out along with the power but remained off quite a bit longer. I don’t know how much our lack of water was based on frozen pipes in the apartment complex or if Fort Worth turned off our water. It matters not; what does matter is we didn’t have water for about 36 hours. That in itself was a trite inconvenience (we can always drink Bourbon). What mattered is three men in one apartment, didn’t connect the real problem of a waterless lifestyle until it was way too late. Viewing the preverbal optimistic silver lining, our olfactory discomfort triggered an amazing use of all those STEM classes so espoused by our school district.

Emmons will leave for Texas A&M next Fall. He wants to double major in Physics and Engineering. Standing in front of the microwave, he quipped, “Fun Fact: a ½ gallon Mason Jar full of snow takes 00:06:00 in the microwave to meltdown to about a pint of water.” He continued, “We’ve got the math and can now figure anything out. Let’s see… it’s going to take a little over 21 minutes to flush the commode.” 

I started to poke a little fun with optimization questions. “Does it have to be fully melted to flush?” “Can you overheat a smaller amount of water to expedite the melting process?” and “Can you alter the chemical makeup of the solution to expedite the melting/flushing process (I.e., add salt)?”

I got some eye-rolling, and he recruited his young brother to follow him outside to fill 6 of said Mason Jars with snow.

I tried to help ? and accidentally moved the tank stopper a little when I tried to speed things up by dumping in a whole popcorn bowl of snow straight into the tank. I was immediately removed from the project, sent back to this keyboard, and told I can’t leave until I think about what I have done. I was also asked to do the math because I set the project back, “Damn near 18 minutes.”

Gotta love those STEM classes! 

What’s been your biggest problem during this Declared State of Emergency? I hope everyone is safe, warm, and well. After that, I hope you are having fun with your kids!


The boys wanted me to try to raise a little Disaster Relief. So, we're selling Fun T-shirts that I just overdesigned.

The boys wanted me to try to raise a little “Disaster Relief.” So, we’re selling Fun T-shirts, Survivin’ Texas Rolling Blackouts.

You’ve “Been There! Done That State of Emergency!” but, don’t have the T-Shirt yet? Or maybe you just want to show solidarity for us frozen ones in Texas!

<—– There is your chance!  All proceeds help the Ratliff Boyz do something cool!

Birthday Notifications

As I woke this morning, my Facebook notifications barked out an alarm, like a beagle discovering a fox’s scent trail and howling that it’s Sandy Lafollette’s Birthday! So, I started scouring the interweb thingy for a clever birthday wish, but not too clever as it had to look like I composed it, not just plagiarized it. I found several brief such blessings and stitched them together, forming a quilt of (not too) cleverness. You don’t even want to know how long that took.

As my keyboard spewed out astute multisyllables, I noticed Sandy’s odd profile pic with two strange children. I thought, “who are those kids! Mikel and Patrick are goina be pissed!” I then popped into Sandy’s photo collection. I started diving down deep into these images’ cavernous dungeons till my index finger cramped from mouse wheel spin overexertion. I kept seeing Sandy with a strange man (well, not her usual strange man that I know). I thought, “who is this man! Scott is goina be pissed!” I had a brief flash of admiration for Sandy having a double life family thing going down. Who’d a thunk it?

Wrong Sandy LaFollette

I looked closer into the woman’s eyes to see what the glint of bigamy looked-like. Oops! That was Wrong Sandy LaFollette, not Correct Sandy LaFollette. I must have double Facebook friended two Sandy Lafollettes. I quickly thought, “Damn! I wasted all that plagiarizing effort. Now, I’m goina be pissed.” Now I had a Facebook Double Friended kerfuffle! Slowly, a brilliant idea flooded my muskmelon brain.

I’d go ahead, unfold the birthday wishes quilt, and drape it over the Correct Sandy LaFollette’s Facebook feed. I’d play it off as either being a little early or a little late for her real birthday. Either way, I’d come off looking like a thoughtful bastard. So, I continued to let my keyboard spew:

If I knew how to use the oven, I’d give you a birthday cake. I don’t. Therefore, you will have to settle for a simple Happy birthday wish. To one of the most tolerable people in the news from my personal Facebook feed, as you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never be directed in the wrong way. I drink to your health in taverns; I drink to your health in home, I drink to your health so many times, I believe I have ruined my own.

Reading all that now, it wasn’t worth all that plagiarizing effort, was it? So, I’m going to pull an Emily Litella, “Never mind.”(If you’re an old fart who watched Saturday Night Live in the early ’70s, like me, you got that reference).


PS. I don’t know if I should unfriend Wrong Sandy LaFollette as I have accidentally tagged her in photographs (she never questioned that at all). However, she seems to have that girly suburban saccharin that makes me dyspeptic. A fix to my Facebook Double Friended kerfuffle!

PS. PS. There is a Wrong Scott LaFollette too! Who’d a thunk it? Will there be another Facebook Double Friended kerfuffle?

PS. PS. PS. Now, what was I doing before I became distracted with penning all that above?