Archives for May 2010

American Soldiers

I started to look for a generic, patriotic picture of soldiers so I could write a quick blog post and remind you all to take a few minutes before the end of your day to remember what this day is all about.

Besides the grilling and picnics and 3 day weekend, Memorial Day is a day that we should all reflect on the sacrifices of those who have come before us and those who serve today…

Fighting to protect our freedom.

Then I remembered I didn’t need to look for a picture because in addition to my uncles, my cousins, my nephew and friends, we have two soldiers right here

Well, not exactly right here.

They are still in Arizona at AIT.

But we are thankful as I know they are too that their Daddy and Granny got to fly in and spend time with them because they got a 4 day pass off base.

They’ve seen the glorious Grand Canyon.

Side note: I’m not sure how much PhilBillPaul and Granny actually saw because they appear to have their eyes closed.

And thanks to a special family in Mesa, they spent a beautiful day boating on Sagauro Lake.

You don’t have to save your gratitude and prayers for Memorial Day. On any given day, I hope you’ll send up a prayer for our military and their families…

and my darling twin daughters.

Here’s a great video worth taking 4 minutes from your day to watch and remember…


DWTS ~ Finale

I’m writing this first part before I know who wins.

I did not like Erin and Maks on the bed. I did not know that doing flips on a bed counted as dancing. It was just a little too weird for me even though I’ve been rooting for them all season.

I did like Evan and Anna’s Footloose routine even though the judges didn’t. I thought it had as much energy as Nicole and Derek’s freestyle.

Sans the low, low riding pants that she actually tucked her fingers at the waistband and pulled DOWN.


Which I think should result in automatic disqualification.

Yes, that would be my new rule.

My mom noticed it and she doesn’t even have a DVR to back it up and replay it like we did several times because I was sure she didn’t do that while Brooke interviewed them. (Scary Baby was not present.)

She did. Super icky.

And the winner is…

Nicole – not surprised. She was absolutely consistent throughout. I’m just extra glad she didn’t wear her low rise pants for her last dance which was amazing.

Evan – class act from start to finish.

Let’s start a petition that no one who has dance experience as part of their career gets to be put in future seasons.

Now that dang Bachelorette show has started.

I hope the wardrobe folk will give her a dress that fits so Ali doesn’t have to adjust, tug, and pull on her strap 200+ times in the next episode.

My final thought

My mom has not appreciated my references to her in my recaps. She doesn’t particularly like my references to her in general. She says I am sarcastic.


The 5 other blog-reading relatives will understand this and will “hear” this conversation my mom and I had.

From this point forward, I’m giving my mom a code name. Unless new readers dig into the archives, no one will know when I refer to my mom in this blog.

Code name:
Mom = Junebug

Let’s try it out here now.

My friend Junebug was/was not happy with the outcome of the DWTS finale. (I don’t know the answer because it was too late to call Junebug after we watched it.)

See Mom Junebug, no one will know anymore when I share something we have talked about.

If anyone else needs a blog code name, please let me know. I am all about respecting people’s privacy.



Typo Tuesday

Welcome to Apostrophe Class

Please take your seat and let’s review what hasn’t changed since the apostrophe was invented in _______ (fill in the blank if you know what year).

Before we start class, please be aware that we are focusing on apostrophes today and not on complete sentences or the proper use of commas. You will understand that as you continue reading.

First, here are some examples of the most common and incorrect ways to use an apostrophe.

At a school…no less.

Photo courtesy of Liz Henry

Photo courtesy of noiseburst

From an Atlanta Journal Constitution article that has since been corrected…

They then taped its mouth shut and bound it’s legs so that state wildlife officers could transport it to South Georgia.

Got the first one right.

its mouth

Possessive – no apostrophe

Second one wrong.

it’s legs

Still possessive – apostrophe should not be used.

I know the screenshot proof is tiny but if you click it you can read the full, corrected article about the alligator and its mouth and legs.

Side note: At a later time, let’s discuss what you would do if you saw a 5 foot alligator walking through your front yard. Dacula is a small town right next to us.

The way I remember this and most other quirky grammar rules is to read aloud. Or read it aloud in my head. Does anyone else do that? Chime in and tell me how you read aloud in your head and that I’m not crazy.

I know the “its” and “it’s” thing is confusing because you are suppose to add an apostrophe to make a word possessive and just add an “s” to make it plural. This is the backward exception to the general rules of possessive and plural. Add in contraction rules and people seem to glaze over.

The point is that I know that it’s is the contraction of it is (or “it has”) and that is what I say in my head.

For this example I would say “it is mouth” and “it is legs” and know quite clearly that I do NOT need the apostrophe because it’s it is possessive.

Here are two great tutorials regarding apostrophes:

Apostrophe Catastrophe (Part One)

Apostrophe Catastrophe (Part Two)

Here is the only exception to these apostrophe rules.

This is a great story of a typo that actually defines a company. I’ve known this story for years because visiting the Lands’ End outlet store in Madison, Wisconsin has been a favorite bargain shopping trip for my family since the early 80’s.

Fun company. Great products. Nicest towels we’ve ever owned both bath and beach. “Guaranteed. Period.®” is their policy and so many companies could learn extraordinary customer service from them!

Best of all, it’s a great lesson that we all make mistakes and I love the commitment they made to embrace the mistake.

I still believe we should all make a commitment to proof and proof again and ask someone else to proof our work. Most typos seem lazy to me and correcting them takes little effort while sending out a message that says,

“I still care about and respect our English language.”

I guess I’m old-fashioned like that.


25¢ Milestones

Busy weekend. Busy week.

It’s that time of year with end of school activities. Don’t get me started on how much can be crammed into the last few weeks of school.

Scary Baby is almost done with 5th grade and will go to middle school in August.

Not possible.

But true.

I took this picture a few months ago.

The Grunter started his quarter collection the same year Scary Baby was born.

He was missing 2007’s Wyoming.

It was only fitting that she complete his collection by finding the last quarter he needed.

A decade of milestones.

Surely worth more than a quarter or two.



DWTS Vote-Off


I loved getting to see Evan and Anna do that Paso again!

Not really surprised that Chad didn’t make it tonight.

While he did improve with his dancing, his attitude bugged me.

I googled Chad because I’m a serious researcher.

I wanted to get a little more background on him since last night was when I first caught that fact that he had four children but I never heard them mention a wife. Remember, I’m not nosy – I’m just interested. 😉

Right from the beginning of the season I thought he was pretty aggressive putting the moves on Cheryl.

If you’ve never read anything by Rick Reilly – he’s a highly acclaimed award-winning sportswriter and always makes me laugh. His article was the second item that came up on Google.

Warning: This article about Chad and his book from 2009 is not G-rated.

Miley Cyrus = Icky.

Glad to see that Billy Ray is protecting her innocence and she continues to be an excellent role model for my daughters.

Bad lip sync performance all the way around. In and out of the cage.

Okay, moving on now.

Can’t wait for next week. I think it will be the best finale ever!


Standard Disclaimer: These are just my personal opinions and I’m sure I’d be friends in real life with each and every “star”, “was a star” and/or “never was a star”. Or not.

DWTS ~ Can’t Wait ‘Til Tuesday Night

I still love, love, love to see Erin and Maks dance because I think they are such a sizzling couple together.

I don’t think that of any of the other couples.

But there’s no mistaking that Nicole and Evan are The Top Two.

Holy cow, did they deliver or what?

I know my mom wants to know if Nicole can wear a costume bottom any lower? Is that painted on?

Seriously, I don’t need to see her pubic pelvic bones.

For the record, I also don’t want to see Chad without pants next week. I hope that doesn’t happen. I’m still recovering from having to see Jake in underwear.


Speaking of Jake (and sorry that I have to) but did I really hear them say that Jake would be dancing with Vienna in the finale?

WHAT THE HECK? She wasn’t even in the show. Go away.

I also don’t want Brooke to say “your package” to anyone else. Especially the guys.

I know she was referring to their story package but it kept coming out wrong.

“Can you comment on your package?” “We loved watching your package.”

I’m paraphrasing the above comments because I didn’t take the time to rewind.

And speaking of Brooke – way, way too much boobage for family hour.


But enough about Brooke.

I’m with Tom – this was my favorite show of all the seasons so far!!

Weigh in. Who is leaving tonight?


P.S. This is the first time EVER I have blogged twice in one day. Of course I say that only if the scheduling feature works right on my blog otherwise this p.s. will make no sense at all.

Typo Tuesday

I’ve told you how much they bug me.

I know that I am guilty of them myself.

I fix them as soon as anyone is nice enough to tell me.

Most people are very defensive about them. That’s a discussion for another day.

I’ve been saving screenshots for several weeks for this post and lo and behold I see this headline on Sunday on CNN.

“Typos — no big deal? Think again”

I think it was a joke that there was a typo in the last sentence of the article.

But then again, I’ve seen many typos on CNN so maybe not?

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Bob Greene and have read his column and his books for years. In fact, I still recommend his 1993 book that he wrote with his sister entitled “To Our Children’s Children” to help people tell their story. Go buy it. Today.

Typo Tuesday Treasure Hunt

I thought it would be fun to play a little game with the screenshots. A little “Where’s Waldo” meets your cranky English teacher.

Self-imposed rules: Get a magnifying glass or really powerful reading glasses (because I realize the type is very, very small). OR, you can hit command and the plus sign on your keyboard to make everything in your browser window bigger. OR look for “zoom” or something like it under your menu bar on your browser that says “View”. If you have an old version of Internet Explorer and do not have a grown-up browser like Firefox on your computer, I’m sorry.

Time yourself and leave a comment to share how quickly you found the typos and what they were in the 3 screenshots below. No fair looking at other people’s comments. 😉

I did not buy these jeans.

I did buy this Blizzard on Friday night and I suggest you head to your nearest DQ and do the same unless you are allergic to peanuts.

Rest easy, the man has been found.

I know everyone makes mistakes. I do on a daily basis.

The reason these make me cranky is that people are getting paid to write, type, and edit copy at their job.

Future Typo Tuesday posts are coming so send any of your typo issues my way!


Facebook Phobia

It’s been just over a year since I brought up Facebook pressure.

The media headlines last week made me think it was time to re-visit the subject.

How are you all feeling about the Facebook privacy issues in the media these days?

Be sure to at least click the first link to see the excellent graphic that points out that their privacy policy is longer than the United States Constitution.

May 12, 2010 – Facebook Privacy: A Bewildering Tangle of Options

May 12, 2010 – Price of Facebook Privacy? Start Clicking

May 12, 2010 – Amid backlash, Facebook tries to save face
May 13, 2010 – Some quitting Facebook as privacy concerns escalate

I know all the cool kids adults are doing it.

I’ve never been much of a joiner.

I’m still a social misfit. I know this.

And I’m really okay with it so please don’t scold me.

I’m still scarred from gym class and always being picked last.

Mostly I think my phobia is because I don’t want those mean girls from gym class to find me on Facebook.

Like they’re really looking for me?

Then my mom pointed out that they could find my blog.

She’s sharp, my mom.


There are plenty of other nameless people who don’t need my life updates. I think it takes a little more work to find my blog and I am content with my 5 family members, 10 relatives and my dozen closest friends reading the sanitized version of life here.

Some day I’m sure I’ll bust out of my shell and give you what I affectionately refer to as “the Jerry Springer version of my life.” But for now I’m still trying to respect the privacy of others.

Until then, if you’re one of my 27 readers – thanks and please keep it on the down-low on Facebook.

Intellectually, I know it is just a tool. A communication tool that I’m choosing not to use.

For now, I’m sticking with this blog, email, texting and the good old fashioned telephone. 😉


Full Disclosure:
I do have an account with absolutely nothing there. It’s just so I can lurk and see what my big kids are doing. They know this. Excuse me, I have to go re-check my privacy settings.

Jeffrey Koterba

Update #3 ~ 4th Child

Update #1

Update #2

Side note: Since we have the darling twins we get to count them as one update even though professional child-rearing experts skilled at helping mothers with multiples would say this is not healthy and has probably caused some developmental issues for them.

I say…whatever.

Update #3 is about our lovely 4th child. The lovely youngest Humpfreeze who is trapped in the body of an 11 year-old but longs to be 21 is doing fine.

Her April birthday wish was for a new bike. A new bike because her *old* bike was stolen from our front yard. Welcome to our neighborhood.

Icky people please leave.

But it wasn’t as if we hadn’t told her several dozen hundred times to put her bike away.

Ahh, the consequences of being smarter than your parents. It can leave you bike-less for a long year.

We are also pretty low-key, low-budget birthday people. Even before we were poor.

Birthdays with a cake and something in the $25 range. GASP. I hear people GASPING. Yes, that’s really true. Since birth, we’ve been consistent with that giant birthday budget. Sometimes a small party, a few friends but never a jumpee thing, a pony, a clown or 100 of their closest friends.

Child #4 aka Scary Baby knew getting a big ticket item like a bike from us wasn’t going to happen. So she started making a plan to save her birthday money from Grandma and Granny and hey, do you think those sissies will send me some money from Arizona so I can buy a new bike?

She calculated and decided she might need to make a little cash herself. Enter the clearance Easter candy-making kit from Wal-Mart for $2.25.

Scary Baby: Hey mom, I could make these chocolate suckers and go sell them to the neighbors to earn money for a new bike.

Me: Great idea – try to get the person who stole your bike to buy the most!

Scary Baby: Can I make them now. Right now. During The Masters. Why are you yelling at the TV when Tiger Woods makes a bad shot? Mom, mom, mom can I make them RIGHT NOW?

Me: Daddy would love to help you make flower and butterfly suckers.

$17 and some odd cents later her bike fund is ready.

Scary Baby: Hey daddy, hey daddy, hey daddy…can we go get my bike now? Right now?

New bike. Nice ride.

Yes, she does own a helmet.

And she seems to put this bike away much more frequently than the last one.

Personal note to Grandma, Granny & Darling Twins: She has written her thank-you notes and it’s mom who has not given her addresses and stamps to mail them. Really.

The next weekend she spent an afternoon with the clearance Easter cookie dough (75¢ a box) decorating cookies AND she took these pictures herself informing me that they would be perfect for “The Blog.”

Don’t you love Fondant Child’s photographic angle?

So for $3 bucks I got two craft activities I didn’t have to participate in and there was a net profit of $14 for her bike fund.

I love bargains. 😉


Darling Twins Update

They left January 28th.

They are here.

This is some of the scenery.

I love the port-a-potty and trash dumpster. Gives the shot some character.

They are at AIT (Advanced Individualized Training) in classes and training all week.

Their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is 35M for those who are truly interested.

If they pass everything they will earn 24 college credits.

Side note: This is a lovely opportunity to brag on Wizzy who passed “both parts of the whole secret military test stuff…” and she was the first in her platoon of 150 to accomplish that. Go Wizzy!

They have weekends free and do this a lot.

Roger Leroy wearing a Cookie Monster shirt looks fashionable as ever.

I think they eat out a lot because they have to wear these to class every day.

They’re in full battle rattle and they could guest post here sometime and give you all the details about how much what they are wearing weighs and other fascinating details that I would get wrong if I tried to explain.

I ask very technical questions when we Skype with them on the computer. Like, “What’s that triangle thing hanging in front of your crotch?”

Again, I think they need to write a guest post.

When they are not being B.A. soldiers, Roger Leroy is the head of the entertainment committee.

The monkey ears move when she talks and she doesn’t really wear glasses. She’s special.

I have no explanation for this.

But I’m pretty sure it has something to do with interrogation and military intelligence.

They will be home at the end of June and then head back to college in August. They are counting the days.

We are too.


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