Archive for March, 2007

Sicky Sawyer and the Kiddie Meals

Well I guess I decided I was jealous of Christina’s 32nd birthday.  So I went ahead and secured a case of strep throat for myself.  I’m on the appropriate antibiotics now, but given that I recently got up for the day and am about ready for bedtime, I think my birthday hike will be hindered (if not cancelled) tomorrow.

On side news, my Uncle Mark talked me into having chicken noodle soup for supper last night (a Friday during Lent).  Uncle Mark said if G.I. Sawyer (my grandfather) were around he would say it was an acceptable exception because it wasn’t out of selfishness and I have an obligation to nourish my body back to health.  I think it might have actually made me happier to spend a few moments remembering my grandfather than it was to hear I could have Campbell’s Double Noodle Soup for supper.

Ann stopped by the store for me and picked up a can of the Double Noodle Soup before heading over to our house for March Madness.  She arrived with the bounty and shared an embarrassing observation.  When she was at the store and she got to the Campbell’s section of the soup aisle, she couldn’t find the Double Noodle Soup right away.  “It was in the kid’s section!” she revealed. 

That isn’t the only childlike facet of my diet–  I’ve been eating a lot of popsicles.  Normally, I probably would have written them off as a dessert without a second glance.  But you know what?  They really aren’t that bad for you.  They are only 40 calories a piece and are just water and fruit juice.  In fact, you get a good dose of vitamin C with each chilly pop.  I never would have noticed that if I hadn’t fallen ill.  And boy, that icy texture feels so good on my sick throat. 

I guess if I don’t get better soon, I’ll have to invest in a lot of chicken nuggets, tatertots and Capri Suns….oh, and some Cheerios.  🙂

March 17, 2007 at 8:17 pm 8 comments

JavaScript: Regular Expression for Military Time

This post is more for my future reference than you.  Sorry to be so selfish!  🙂

I had a need to use a regular expression via JavaScript to confirm if data entered into a text field was in military time format (e.g. 03:30, 23:59, etc).   With regular expressions, I’m still very much a scavenger.  I do a quick search and “borrow” something similiar to my needs and tweak it as necessary. 

Well most of the examples I found for military time regular expressions were a little suboptimal.  They would do something like this:


Where they are saying before the colon you can have 1-2 digits and then after the colon, you’d have 2 digits.  But that would permit stuff like 98:86.  So they would have subsequent JavaScript code to parse out the data and make sure the first number doesn’t exceed 23 and then make sure the second number doesn’t exceed 59.  Lame.  I wanted to do it all in one quick regular expression.  This is what I ended up with:


I would not be surprised if Clint can optimize this further (I have solicited his help on regular expressions before)– but for now, it’s sufficient for my needs.  It makes sure the hour ranges between 00 and 23, it ensures a colon is entered, it makes sure the minutes don’t go over 59.

A quick sample of the verification in use:

function CheckMe(myvalue)
   var re = /(00|01|02|03|04|05|06|07|08|09|10|11|12|13|14|15|16|17|18|19|20|21|22|23)[:](0|1|2|3|4|5)\d{1}/;
   if (!re.test(myvalue))
<FORM Name=”Form1″>
<INPUT TYPE=”Text” Name=”TestMe” SIZE=6>
<INPUT TYPE=”Button” onClick=”CheckMe(document.Form1.TestMe.value);” value=”Click Me”>

March 15, 2007 at 10:06 pm 16 comments

The Dirty Potty

And speaking of cleaning that needs to be done…. 

This evening, Ann and I took her two children to Deerfield Bike Path.  Before we left, Ann used our downstairs restroom.

“Mama, ” Penn said, “You’re using the dirty potty?!?”

Ann asked if he had used it before.

“Yes,” he said, “It’s disgusting!

Hmm… I guess that’s not a good sign when a five-year-old, who once crawled on his hands and knees under a public restroom stall attempting to see “Vicky’s pee”, designates your bathroom as “The Dirty Potty”! 

P.S.  When he’s old enough, I need to show Penn the films “Trainspotting” and “From Dusk Till Dawn”.  Suddenly, my potty will look pristine! 

P.S.S.  Anyone else remember any disgusting toilet scenes?  I can organize “The First Annual Dirty Potty Marathon” for his 17th birthday! 🙂

March 14, 2007 at 12:51 am 4 comments

The Beagle Bracket

The men in my social group take March Madness very seriously.  Every year, they request Thursday and Friday off from work and they convene at our house to watch the first and second rounds.  One year my neighbor, Cherie, noted all the cars in front of the house for days at a time and grew concerned.  She thought someone had died!  Nope, just watching basketball.

Typically, we hang a giant bracket in the screened-in porch to keep track of the winners of every match-up.  And typically, each person carries a printout of his own picks so the winners can be highlighted and the bad guesses can be crossed out with fury.  One day, many years ago, perhaps 2002, I came home from work (I don’t take March Madness as seriously) and was shuffling some of the numerous bracket printouts out of my way.  At the top of every printout was the name of who it belonged to.  The usual names were there and then one stuck out.


“Henry?” I asked.  The nearby beagle started to wag his tail.

“Yeah, I did a bracket for him.” Sean said.

I inquired how a dog goes about making March Madness picks.  It turns out Sean compared the mascots and picked the one Henry would be most frightened of.  That’s no easy task– Henry’s frightened of a lot.  Every year since then Henry has always had a bracket.  His pick logic has evolved through the years.  I believe the current algorithm is:

  1. Henry never picks a 16 seed over a 1 seed.  “That’s just not fair,” Sean says.
  2. Henry picks whatever team has the mascot he is most afraid of with two exceptions:
    1. If the mascot is a dog, Henry will pick it because he likes dogs
    2. If the mascot is a tree, Henry will pick it.  Why?  “Because he’ll want to pee on the tree,” Sean says.  Thus in Henry’s brackets, Stanford tends to get pretty far.

Some years, Henry has done surprisingly well in the early rounds.  I have heard at least one person rant, “I can’t believe the damn dog is beating me!”  Luckily for his human competitors, Henry’s scary-things+dogs+trees approach usually catches up with him in the later rounds and his progress declines.  I believe two years ago he dropped to 30th out of 52 participants.  That does mean, however, there are 22 people who can legitimately gripe about being beaten by “the damn dog.”  🙂

Sean refers to March Madness as “the best time of the year.”  I have to imagine Henry would agree.  He hates to travel (because he is scared, why else?).  But with March Madness, he gets to stay in the comfort of his own home.  He gets to sit on the couch and watch TV for four days straight.  He gets quality time with his best friend, Kevin Ledman.  And there are plenty of people around to drop or give him food.  That’s the life. 

So with two more days until the first tip-off, we’re still in preparations.  Sean’s still debating the menu.  We still have some cleaning to do.  I’m still worrying about my fledgling attempt at a bracket and hoping the damn dog doesn’t beat me.

But Henry… he’s ready!  After working through first round dilemmas such as “what is scarier a Volunteer or a Colonial?” or the ever tricky Wildcats vs. Wildcats scenario, Henry’s got his bracket (Final Four: Butler Bulldogs, Southern Illinois Salukis, Georgetown Hoyas, Albany Great Danes).  And this evening, Henry picked out his seat on the couch.

Henry’s Ready

Let the games begin!

March 14, 2007 at 12:08 am 3 comments

March 12

Happy Birthday to Christina!!!  During high school, we used to sing along to Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” together.  Last summer at her brother’s wedding, I discovered us both singing along to Black-Eyed Peas’ “My Humps”.  We’re seperated by the whole Atlantic Ocean, but still fancy some of the same songs.  I guess some things never change!

Luckily, some things do!  If we were back in high school, I would be decorating her locker with condoms.  Now that I’m almost 32 and condoms don’t possess the same shock value (very much how naked used to be a dirty word), I’ll settle for this blog post. 

So best wishes to Christina and have a wonderful day!  Try not to get taken offguard by any confetti:

Christina surprised by confetti in high school.

March 12, 2007 at 12:56 am 2 comments

Playing with Penn

Today was a great spring day.  We had our new spring hours thanks to Daylight Savings Time and we had great spring weather.   Penn, Ann and I took advantage of it by playing outside (little Gwyn was taking a long nap).  There is a brand new fancy swingset in the backyard and that is where most of the fun was had.   Some pictures:

Penn on yellow swing

Penn on the red swing

Penn hitting golf balls – he’s keeping his eye on the ball

Finally, here is Penn’s face when his mother asked him, “What are you going to do when Vicky has her own baby and can’t come over and take pictures of you?”

Penn ponders his mother’s question

Eventually he had an answer, “Give her Gwynie’s clothes!”

More pictures of Penn and the swingset are on my Flickr site.

March 12, 2007 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

Sharp Top and The Sweet Escape

In the privacy of my own journals, I’ve had some harsh words about Gwen Stefani’s solo career.  I’m a bit too lazy to look up the exact passages, but I believe I used words such as “drivel” and “trash” to describe what I perceived to be a marked decline from her No Doubt work. 

Welp, it seems that I have already changed my mind!  I’m sooo into that The Sweet Escape song.  It instantly puts me in a good mood and is a wonderful soundtrack as I travel to trailheads for an adventure.  I’m especially fond of singing along to the high-pitched “Wooo–hooo, wooooo-hoooooo!” parts, though don’t bank on catching me doing that at work.  That only occurs when I’m driving alone or with the dogs (I’ll also make an exception for Carolyn.  That’s the  type of relationship I have with my sister– I can sing offkey as loud as I want without forfeiting her love).  Given the amount of enjoyment I’ve gotten from The Sweet Escape, I’m glad my strong opinions were limited to my journals. 

As I mentioned, yesterday I hiked Sharp Top at the Peaks of Otter.  Here’s another tidbit about that mountain.  It was once believed to be the tallest mountain in Virginia.  It turns out that is far from the truth– Mount Rogers is 1,864 feet higher.  Not only that, but Sharp Top isn’t even the tallest mountain in the Peaks of Otter.  The mountain right beside it, Flat Top, is taller!  I’ve often found amusement at that misconception, even though I could easily fall for the same optical illusion.  Sharp Top with its pointy peak does appear to be taller:

Flat Top on the left is 4001′, while Sharp Top on the right is only 3865′

Unlike my Gwen Stefani rants, the thought that Sharp Top was Virginia’s tallest mountain was not confined to local lore or private journals.  Nope!  That mistake was recorded in stone… literally!  In 1851, a stone from the summit of Sharp Top Mountain was used in the construction of the Washington Monument.  It was engraved as follows:

From Otter’s Summit, Virginia’s Loftiest Peak, To Crown a Monument to Virginia’s Noblest Son

When it comes to documenting mistakes, I find journals preferable to the Washington Monument.  In fact, I’m going to make it my lifetime goal to keep my mistakes off the Washington Monument.  I would say all monuments in general, but I had a vivid memory as a small child disposing of a booger on the Lincoln Memorial… so that option is kinda unobtainable.  I got to stick with what’s feasible. 

Journals – yes.  Washington Monument – no.  Lincoln Memorial…maybe.

March 12, 2007 at 12:01 am 9 comments

Apple Orchard Falls… er… Sharp Top!

Yesterday, the closest CCS has to a CCS Hiking Club went out for an outing.  James Ingerson and I met at CCS and embarked on a trip to Apple Orchard Falls.  There was only one problem:

D’oh.  Closed Road

The Blueridge Parkway was closed north of Peaks of Otter.  Luckily, we just happened to be in the vicinity of a number of great hikes.  We decided to head up to Sharp Top instead.  Sharp Top is a short hike (1.5 miles one way), but it has a lot to offer.  It has a solid incline.  You ascend ~1340 feet in 1.5 miles.  When the going gets rough, I think about Thomas Jefferson  He ascended Sharp Top in 1815…when he was 72 years old!  If he could do it, I suppose I can suck it up.  🙂 Sharp Top sports a number of view opportunies including the summit with a 360 degree view and Buzzard’s Roost.  Finally, if you are feeling adventurous, you can visit the wreckage of a 1941 plane crash (N 37° 25.665 W 079° 36.398).

Stacy, the dogs and I checked out the plane wreck and Buzzard’s Roost a few years ago.  Yesterday, James, the dogs and I went to the Sharp Top Summit.  Some shots from our outing:

Jimmie on rock stairs near the top.

James poses like a founding father at the top

More Pictures and Links
My Sharp Top Photos on my Flickr site
James’ Sharp Top Photos (scroll to the bottom)
B-25D Crash Information
Sharp Top Article from Roanoke Times

March 11, 2007 at 10:03 pm Leave a comment

Cascades: Another Week Apart

A co-worker of mine, James, went to the Cascades last Saturday and found them roaring from the rain and melted ice.  Here’s a recap of my shot from the previous Saturday and then his.

Vicky’s shot on 2/24/2007

Jame’s shot from 3/3/2007

More Pictures
2/17/2007 and 2/24/2007 Cascades Comparison
James’ Cascades Pictures on Picasa

March 5, 2007 at 11:43 pm 1 comment

Weenos and Boola-Boola

When my siblings and I were young, one thing that would always bring us laughter was hearing a “dirty” word.  I put dirty in quotes because what we considered obscene was much more mudane than what the network censors are on the prowl for.

For example, one of the words we found so hilarious was “weeno”.  That was what we called our genitalia back in the day.  I’m not sure of the full etymology of the term, but suspect it has something to do with where “wee-wee” comes from.

There used to be a commercial for Matchbox cars that aired on Saturday mornings.  At the end of the commercial, a mother would remind her children of chores to be done. 

In unison, the children would reply, “We Know!” and in unison, Carolyn, Jay and I would crack up. 

My mother has a story which features us laughing at another word.  One day we were in church and the Old Testament reading was about Adam and Eve:

So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loinclothes for themselves.

As soon as the liturgist said the word “naked” we were done for.  All three of us kids starting laughing uncontrollably… and loudly.  I’m sure the echos of the church helped amplify our amusement to the congregation.  My mother said at first she was horrified and terribly embarassed. 

But then she shrugged and realized, “Well, at least it shows they’re listening.”

And here’s how I connect this topic to the modern day!  In a post last week I included a number of quotes on Malcolm X’s prison experiences.  Amongst those quotes, Clint found a word that may be as amusing to him as “weeno” and “naked” were to Carolyn, Jay and I.  Clint’s comment:

boola-boola?! HAHAHEHEHHEHE…

That is all. )

My reaction was very much like my mother’s conclusion in church– “Wow, that means he read the Malcolm X quotes!!!”

I got a nice little confirmation that the words were received.  Who knew that laughing at dirty, silly-sounding terms could serve as such functional feedback? 

March 5, 2007 at 11:19 pm 2 comments

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