Friday, September 30, 2016

29/September/2016 - Almost Friday

If, as one of Grump's co-workers puts it, you're "back on the plantation" working for living, and your work week is the normal Monday-to-Friday grind, then Thursday is kinda a weird day.  You're still stuck in daily routine, but it's almost Friday, and you can see the saving light of the weekend beginning to shine just around the corner.  Baring some huge catastrophe, ("we've got to work overtime to get this project in on time", or, "OMG, the totals are all off, and we've got to find out why"), you're gonna make it.  You're gonna survive until Friday night, when you can cast off your chains and for maybe two days have a brief taste of the illusion of freedom.

Speaking of freedom, or at least the partial "ghost" of freedom as embodied in retirement, Grump and his coworker made another desperate attempt to fund an transition into that non-working state of life:

Once again their numbers did not hit, but they will continue to try their luck with the lottery, because a faint hope for retirement, no matter how ridiculously feeble, is better than no hope at all.  Besides, it's only $3.00 a week!

Grump had some yummy bihon for lunch that Sweetie had made for him.  Actually, in this case, you Tagalog speakers would be correct to call it pancit-bihon, because it was a combination of the thin white noodles AND the thicker yellow noodles.  (On top of a bed of rice, of course!)


Back home, Lola began to harvest the camotes.  It appears we're gonna have a bumper crop!

Camotes from Lola's garden

More camotes from Lola's garden.  (And Lola's foot!)

I can't wait until Sweetie cooks these up.  Yummy!

Peace, y'all.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

28/September/2016 - Home!

It being Wednesday, Old Grump drove home after work, to which the Venerable Watson gave his approval:

The Venerable Watson Approves!

Grump and a co-worker also contributed to their "retirement fund".  Unfortunately the numbers did not hit:

As good a retirement fund as any other!

Back home, it was the usual chaos.  Kuya did okay with his math studies, but is way, way behind in his reading.  The homeschool program is much more difficult than the corresponding public school curriculum, so much so that sometimes Sweetie and Grump wonder whether it is even fair to expect so much from a homeschooled kid.  But the program they have Kuya enrolled in prides itself in academic excellence, so hopefully Kuya can hang in there and complete the course.

Lola has a bit of a cold, but she's tough; no silly cold is gonna ruin her day!  Dodong is speaking a bit more English with each passing day.  He now refers to things he wants as "this one" or "that one", and Sweetie has even gotten him saying "please", (sometimes).

Sweetie and Grump are both very tired today, so we are going to bed early.  Good night, y'all.  Sleep tight!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

27/September/2016 - Tuesday

This is kinda a weird entry, because today was a weird day.

Old Grump has a whole lot of nuthin' to do at work recently, (his job is disturbingly like a government contract - very little actual work, but also likely to end without any notice), so this past weekend he bought some earbuds for his iPhone.  Today to fill the "void" he listened to a very interesting podcast, Dan Carlin's Hardcore History.

While some of the episodes are for sale, the particular episode Grump listened to, Prophets of Doom, is a freebie.  He highly, highly, highly recommends one and all to listen to this enlightening podcast about the tragic events that took place in the German city of Munster 500 years ago.

Back on the homefront, Kuya drove Sweetie crazy by goofing around in karate class, (shame, shame!), and botching his reading assignments for school.  Grump needs to buckle down and do his part by helping Kuya practice his reading on the weekends, instead of doing whatever the heck it is that Grump has been doing.  (Taking naps, mostly.)

Other than that ..... life rolls along for us, with no major disasters to report, thank God.  I suppose that is the best any of us can hope for, that we avoid the big catastrophes, while coping as best we can with the daily irritants of living.

Peace, y'all!

Monday, September 26, 2016

26/September/2016 - Monday, UGH!

Monday inexorably arrived again, and Grump had to drag his tired butt out of bed before dawn and make the long drive half-way across the state to his job.

Do you remember from yesterday how Grump left Miss Lily's impromptu dinner party early, so that he could get a lot of sleep last night?  Well .......

It so happened that little Dodong was EXTREMELY wound-up last night, and fussed and bounced about in bed until Sweetie and Grump, (reluctantly in Grump's case!), got up out of bed and went into the living room with him, to play with him for a while.  After an hour or so Sweetie and Grump tried to climb in bed again, hoping that the little guy was sleepy now.  Ha!  Dodong stayed awake until 11:30 pm!

Now through all this racket Kuya was somehow able to sleep, so by the time 3:30 am rolled around he was well rested enough to wake up, AND wake up Old Grump too!


So once Grump's alarm finally went off at some obscenely early hour, Grump was not at his finest.

This is how it looks in the dark pre-dawn hours, when Grump leaves for work:

The Darkness Before Dawn

But I suppose he shouldn't complain too much, because while back home Sweetie continues to struggle with the two boys, he lives a life of idle pleasure in Columbus, feet propped up while he cruises the internet.

Grump relaxing in Venerable Watson's apartment

Actually, it's not all fun-and-games for Grump in Columbus, as the company he works for is currently going through a round of layoffs.  (YIKES!!)  Just today someone who works for the same manager he does, (but on a different team), was let go.

Layoffs are stressful for everyone, and companies should only do them as a last resort.  Then again, Grump's current job reminds him more of a government contract than a "real" job, in that none of us really have a lot to do, and the day-to-day work certainly isn't very difficult, but you never know when at a moment's notice you could be let go.

Uncertainty is just part of life, I guess.

Peace y'all!

25/September/2016 - Quiet Sunday

It was a quiet Sunday, because we didn't do much.  For the second week in a row we didn't drive to H Mart for fruits and veggies, and we also didn't go to church.  Our early morning "shopping fix" was satisfied, (barely), by a trip Sweetie and Grump made to Lowes to pick up a few minor things for the house.

Speaking of H Mart, here is a box of dried fruit Grump purchased last time we were there:

Goji berries

It's hard to see on this photo, but written on the box is "Fructus Lycii", which is the Chinese name for Lycium barbarum, the wolfberry.  This little fruit has attained fame in recent years under the more common name, "Goji Berry", as it supposedly has all sorts of wonderful health benefits.  Be that as it may, Grump likes how they taste, and he likes to sprinkle them on his morning cereal.

In the early afternoon Grump, Sweetie, and Dodong went shopping at Publix to get some fruits and veggies.   (While Publix is a nice store, I wish they had gone to H Mart instead, as Publix doesn't have the same enormous variety of produce.  Although, to be fair, what Publix does have is usually of very high quality.)

Shopping at Publix

In the late afternoon Kuya's friend Mr. B, his little sister, and his Mom came over for a visit.  I'd like to say I took some great pics of this gathering, but Dodong swiped my cellphone again, so NO PHOTOS!  Sorry.

For dinner, our neighbor Miss Lily invited all of us, and few other folk, (all filipinos, except Grump!), over to her house for pizza and bihon, (rice noodles).  It was yummy, but all too soon it was time for Grump to go back home, and crawl into bed early to get a good night's sleep, in preparation for his drive to work tomorrow morning.

Peace y'all!

24/September/2016 - Saturday!

Saturday!  Yippee!!

The boys were up early, doing various "boy stuff".

Whilst the Old Grump was at the health club "exercising" (leisurely walking on the treadmill), Sweetie and Lola were outside washing the cars.  They did a great job!  Now both of our cars are shiny clean!

Sweetie and Lola beside a very clean car

In the afternoon, Sweetie and Grump went shopping at the mall, where Sweetie found some "great deals" at Gap, and Grump paid too much for a charge cord and ear buds at the Apple store.  Later we went to Longhorns for dinner, which as usual was fabulous!

Plenty more happened, but Dodong had my cellphone most of the day, so I don't have any record of it!


Saturday, September 24, 2016

23/September/2016 - Coming Home

It was Friday, the day when Grump gets to drive all the way home after work.  Now it would be super-duper nice if Grump had a boss who would let him leave early Friday afternoon, so he could be with his family earlier, but no, his boss has to be someone who fusses if he leaves 15 minutes early on a day when MOST OF THE REST OF THE FLOOR HAS ALREADY EMPTIED OUT.

Despite this aggravating nastiness, Grump and another co-worker did leave 20 minutes early, because they were the absolute last two left from their group in the building.  Everyone else had already either gone home, or taken a vacation for the day.

Back home, Kuya unfortunately bucked the trend that started on Wednesday by NOT concentrating on his studies after a "recess".  Sweetie was very disappointed, because she had thought we had finally discovered what we needed to do to get Kuya to pay attention and learn.  But the recess had no effect today, so she had to revert to the tried-and-true method of yelling at Kuya to get him to stop daydreaming.  Ugh!

There really isn't much else to report, (other than Grump almost got in a wreck on I-75 coming home), so I suppose we may as well continue with the self-promotion we started yesterday.

The other Tumblr blog Grump has is .  I don't see much difference between this Tumblr blog and, but supposedly it is more "tea stuff" oriented.

The best part about Tumblr is that you can find some really cool photos on it, such as these that Grump (re)posted on

Additionally he posts some links back to products on his tea shop, such as these:

Sadly, Grump isn't making much money at all online, either from his Amazon storefronts, or from Adsense.  I suppose it is possible to make money online, but it probably takes a huge amount of work.

If you want to help the poor old guy out, you can access Amazon via one of his storefronts, and then order your product as you normally do.  You'll pay exactly the same amount, but he'll get a teeny-tiny commission.  (The Lords of Google won't let me tell you to click on any of the Adsense ads that appear on this or any other of Grump's websites, else they'll revoke his Adsense account.  So I'm not gonna do that!)

Peace y'all.

22/September/2016 - Just Another Workday

   No pics today! 

Today Sweetie gave Kuya a "recess" during his studies, and Kuya seemed to respond very well.  He paid attention in the afternoon, and correctly answered his math and spelling questions.

Other than that ..... not a whole heck of lot happened today.  Grump was still working out of town, so he was away.  Dodong hung out with Lola while Sweetie tried to teach Kuya, so I guess Dodong's first language will be Bisaya?

On one of Grump's Tumblr accounts, (, Grump added some links to articles he's put on ( and, if you're curious.) 

He also has three "Amazon storefronts" now:  -  his original "tea shop", which got a little funky due to an update to the WordPress theme it uses, (Kingdom), which didn't play well with how Grump had his page configured.  -  a new tea-universe shop, which uses the Amazon aStore interface, and thus is MUCH, MUCH simpler to work with than the confounded Kingdom theme!  -  another store Grump set up, ("Awkward Uncle's Curiosity Shop"), to sell things other than tea and tea related stuff.

So ...... other than these tidbits of marketing for Old Grump, we don't have much else to report.

We hope your day, if it was more exciting, was exciting in a GOOD way for you and those you care about.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

21/September/2016 - The "Key" to Educating Kuya

So for several weeks now, Sweetie has been trying to homeschool Kuya.  Some days were okay, and some were just Hell for the both of them.  Yesterday was a particularly atrocious day, with Sweetie getting so angry and upset that Grump suggested that she stop homeschooling Kuya altogether, and instead send him to the public school right down the road.

But Sweetie insisted that homeschooling Kuya was the only way to go, so today the family braced for yet another day of "confrontational schooling."

And you know what?  Kuya had one of the best learning days ever?

Talking to Sweetie about this later, once he had arrived home, (yeah ..... this was an "Old Grump comes home from Columbus" day), Grump asked her what she had done differently today, and she replied that for an hour or so she had let Kuya play, while she went to a luncheon with some of her friends at the Bombay City Indian Restaurant in south Macon.  (Near where the Venerable Watson lives, by the way.  As an aside, this is a wonderful restaurant, definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the area, and looking for a place to eat.  You could also go visit the Venerable Watson after your meal!)  Anyway, it appears that this hour break between lessons was necessary for Kuya to recharge his batteries, because in the afternoon he really did super well on his lessons.

When she told him this, Grump replied that maybe that is why elementary school kids are given recess during the school day.  Maybe the little ones can only study for so long before their brains get overloaded, and they need to let loose some physical energy?

At any rate, we are going to try giving Kuya a mid-day recess every "school day", in the hopes that he won't have any more problem days that cause Sweetie to have a melt down.

Old Grump had a wonderful lunch today, some tilapia Sweetie had made and frozen for him:

Grump's Tilapia Lunch

After work, (which means after 5:00 pm, thanks to his anal boss), Grump made the long drive back home.  Once there he and Sweetie went to Panera, which they each got a sandwich for dinner.  Grump chose the new Italian sandwich, which had lots of arugula and mayonnaise on it.  Something about this sandwich didn't agree with his tummy, and he had indigestion, (and coughing!), all evening.  Poor Grump!


20/September/2016 - Chili Contest

Today at Grump's workplace a Chili Contest was held.  One of Grump's co-workers won first place, and another won second place.  

Of course Grump had to sample all the different types of chili!

Here is a pic of the winning chili, which Grump topped with sour cream and cheese:

The winning chili

It was a yummy way to spend lunchtime!

After work Grump was supposed to go to the health club and work out, but he got lazy and just walked around the apartment complex where he spends his time while in Columbus working.  He also took some pics of the apartment grounds:

Back home, Sweetie and Kuya got into a bit of a confrontation, which ended with Sweetie getting "high blood" and yelling at both Kuya and Grump.  She yelled at Kuya because he was NOT concentrated on his schoolwork at all, and she yelled at Grump because, after all, this is ALL his fault for working out of town during the week, every week! 

Poor Kuya!  Poor Grump!

Sweetie was so upset over Kuya's poor performance that Grump was actually concerned about her health.  Yikes!

Anyway, we all hope your day was wonderful, and calm.

Peace y'all!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

19/September/2016 - Boring Monday

Monday, Monday, Monday ...... blah!  Grump had to wake up super-duper early, and make the long drive in to his job.  About the only nice thing that happened was that Sweetie was there to wish him a safe drive:

Sweetie seeing Grump off to work, early in the morning

Other than that, it was just another tedious Monday.  Kuya got through his lessons, barely, and only with Sweetie hollering at him the entire time.  But he did have a good piano lesson today, so he redeemed himself a bit there.

Meanwhile Old Grump's job was as dull and boring as ever.  He spent a good bit of his time daydreaming about retiring, (ha!), which as we know just ain't in the cards for Grump, at least not yet.  Once he got home from work he was tired, and went to bed early.

And that was our Monday!

Since we don't have anything else to talk about, how about a few WonderPolls?

1.  Have you ever swum naked in the ocean?

Oh God no!  Imagine a jellyfish stinging your "sensitive bits", or, unlikely as it may be, getting pinched there by a crab!  (Guys like me cringe at that mental image!)

Most of y'all, 83%, agree with me, but 17% of respondents must have been inebriated or crazy enough to shed their clothes, and trust that the ocean critters respect their boundaries.

2. Would you rather eat breakfast for dinner, or dinner for breakfast?

Definitely breakfast for dinner!  Eating dinner first thing in the morning is gross!  However, now that I am married to a filipina, I have learned that you can, (and should!), eat rice with every meal, as rice is so much more than a breakfast food.

72% of respondents had enough sense to agree that "breakfast for dinner" is the only way to go, while 28% of y'all must have no taste buds, and would rather eat dinner for breakfast.  (Yuck!)

3. Would you rather drown in Jell-O or jelly?

Some of these questions are really, really stupid!  Of course I would rather not drown at all!  If I were to drown, would I really care in what?  Does it really matter if I drown in hideous sewage or rose-scented water?

Anyway, for what it's worth, 84% of y'all seem to think that drowning in Jell-O is somehow preferable to drowning in jelly.  (Drowning in jelly was only chosen by 16% of respondents.)  How come no one chose not to drown at all?


2016/September/18 - Same Clothes Sunday

This morning Sweetie insisted that we all go to church, as we haven't been for several weeks.  The most exciting part of which was that Dodong and Kuya wore identical, (or nearly so), outfits:

The boys in their matching outfits

Boys will be boys, so before heading off to church they had to play some, ruffling up their clothes a bit.

But Sweetie did eventually herd all of us into church:

Kuya, Sweetie, Lola, and Dodong going into church

Not to say that the boys were entirely quiet once we got into church.  Kuya did a little "shadow dance" in the corner until Sweetie dragged him off to the children's room.

Kuya preparing to dance

After church, Kuya's friend Mr. B and his little sister came for a visit, along with several Filipina ladies.  Kuya and Mr. B sequestered themselves upstairs, where they worked on a joint MineCraft video.  (At least I think that's what they were doing.)

Mr. B and Kuya

Working on MineCraft


Meanwhile, the women clustered in the kitchen and chattered away in Bisaya, while Old Grump hid in the bedroom and uploaded videos to YouTube.  You can see some of the videos he uploaded here, if you're curious: .  (More to come, he says!)

We then went to bed early, since Grump has to wake up before dawn tomorrow and drive halfway across the state to his job.  (Which he must keep to support this circus!)


Monday, September 19, 2016

2016/September/17 - Happy Saturday

All Saturdays are pretty good, but Old Grump especially liked this one.  Why?  Because he was able to take a two hour nap in the afternoon, that's why!

The day began early.  Right after breakfast, Grump, Sweetie, and Dodong went shopping.

Dodong pulling Grump's nose outside the bakery

As you may know, Grump likes to take "odd" pics every now and then.  Here is one of a building on Eisenhower Parkway in Macon:

We treated ourselves to lunch at Mellow Mushroom, which is starting to become a habit for us.

Kuya and Dodong at Mellow Mushroom

After filling himself up with pizza, once we were all back home Grump simply crawled into bed, and as you already know slept for two hours.  What a rough life, huh?

Finally, in the evening Grump and Sweetie went on a "dinner date", leaving the kids back home with Lola.  (Thank God for Lola!)  They went to Mikata and got some very, very, very yummy sushi.

Grump and Sweetie at Mikata

Grump and Sweetie really enjoyed their night out, and hope they can repeat that experience sometime soon.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

2016/September/16 - Friday! Yippee!!

Fridays are terrific, because Old Grump gets to drive back home after work, to stay with the rest of us over the weekend.  Now it would be really, really nice if his boss would let him leave really early on Friday, (say around 2:30 pm), but, alas!, she is a stickler for procedure, and considers it "gracious" to let us off, grudgingly, fifteen minutes early at 4:45 pm.

But anyway Grump made it back home safe and sound, for which we are grateful.

I suppose the most exciting event of the day was Grump's breakfast.

What do you do if you have some leftover bitter melon, egg, and rice?

Bitter Melon, Egg, and Rice

And a wee bit of the pickled papaya salad Sweetie made?

Pickled Papaya Salad

Why, you combine them together, of course!  Paired with some yummy Twinings Blackcurrant Tea, (conveniently available at our teashop here: ), you have a most wonderful breakfast!


Grump's Yummy Breakfast

Peace y'all!

Friday, September 16, 2016

2016/September/15 - Surviving Work

Oh my gosh, has work become tedious this week!  The client Grump works for has apparently gone brain-dead, and keeps revising the project requirements over and over and over and over and .....

Neither Grump nor either of his two co-workers did a damn thing today, other than sit and wait for the clock to reach 5:00 pm.  Our pinhead manager will have a fit if we leave one minute early, so starting at 4:53 or so we just watch the clock tick, tick, tick until it hits 5:00 pm, at which point all three of us shut down our PCs and walk out the door.  Pathetic!

So what is Columbus Georgia like at 5:00 pm?  For all inquiring minds who yearn to know the answer, here are some pics from the parking lot Grump took yesterday as he was leaving work.

Pretty boring, huh?

Now to be fair, the place where Grump works isn't in the greatest part of town.  In fact, a huge jail is just across the street, with clusters of 24 hour bail bond places down the block.  Hopefully this isn't a spot you'll be visiting anytime soon!

Back home, Kuya had another good day at school, (hooray Kuya!), and did very well at karate class.  Dodong is teething, (poor guy!), Sweetie is surviving, and Lola is picking up all the pieces of our chaotic life and trying to keep them together.


2016/September/14 - Another Hump Day

The cool thing about Wednesday, (aka, "Hump Day"), is that once it rolls around, you know you're gonna make it to the weekend.

The usual tiny triumphs and tiny tragedies happened today, just like they do everyday, although I have to say that we're hoping that Kuya's improved attention to his schoolwork is becoming a trend.  That would certainly make Sweetie's life a whole lot easier.

At work, Grump's employer treated everyone to a free ice-cream.  Since they are simultaneously announcing layoffs, and have eliminated merit increases this year, I suppose it is the least they could do!

Free Ice-cream Ticket!

In light of all his job uncertainty, Grump, (via one of his co-workers), made a small contribution to his retirement fund today:
Retirement Fund Contribution

It's pretty sorry state of affairs when you need to win a lottery so you can retire!

Peace y'all.