Blow the stink off.

July 14, 2013
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Grandfather Davis possible originator of the saying.

When I was a kid my Dad would always be telling us to, “Go outside and blow the stink off”.

Every family has it sayings I guess. That was one of my father’s favorites. I tried for years to find out what the hell it meant, and second where in God’s name he ever came up with it.

He’d always say it to us kids. I think he’d use it whenever he got tired of us being in the house. It didn’t matter that there was a monsoon rain or the blizzard of the century happening outside, Dad’d direct that at us and then he’d get up and walk away. He never said it to our Mom, or anyone else only us kids.

As kids we actually got the part about going outside, but the “blow the stink off” part? Well I knew I didn’t smell because I showered that morning. I also knew I hadn’t farted, at least most of the time that wasn’t my transgression. Hell if it was the farts he did more of that than we did. Why didn’t he go outside and blow the stink off?

Now after many years I find myself using on my kids. I still don’t know what it means. I did find out where he picked it up. Turns out his father used it on him and his four brothers. Guess what? None of them ever knew exactly what it meant either.

The best interpretation I’ve ever have been able to come up with is this. Go outside meant to leave the house and go play outside where you wouldn’t be bothering him.

My interpretation of the “blow the stink off” is to get some fresh air. It’s a hell of a weird way to say it, but that’s the only way I can put a meaning to that phrase.

Where it came from originally I’m afraid is lost in the mists of time and family roots.

 

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Carefree Childhood – Life Was Good

January 26, 2010

I spent my childhood in a small town of around 1,000 persons. Summer days were idyllic. Riding bikes all over, playing, or lying around. Collecting soda bottles, cashing them in for 2c each, taking the 25 or 30c to the variety store. Buying a comic book, bottle of pop (soda), bubble gum, and chips. Heading for the nearest large shade tree. Reading comic books and dining with good friends for hours.

Climbing trees in vacant lots. Making forts in the upper branches of large leafy trees. Life was good.

Serial killers, perverts, pedophiles? Who the heck heard of those in the 1950’s. Carefree was the byword in those days. We knew what time to go home in for lunch or supper. My friends and I policed ourselves. The freedom we had amazes me to this day.  No wonder we didn’t want to grow up and take responsibility.


Kid Being a Brat – Mail ‘Em Away

August 10, 2009

LetterCarrierChild1913This is a photo from the National Postal Museum showing a child posing with a letter carrier in 1913.  (photographer unidentified, Smithsonian Institute, Collection: U.S. Postal Employees)

At this time you could legally mail children. It was actually done several times. Postage stamps were attached to their clothing and the children rode with railway and city carriers to their destination.

When the Post Office Department found out this was occurring, they issued a regulation to prevent “the sending of children in the mail”.

There are definitely times when I’d like to mail mine away, but with today’s postal rates it would bankrupt me.


On Being Computer Literate

July 27, 2009

OliviaComputer2009This is Olivia, one of the twins. She’s five and is becoming adept at using the computer. She learned to use the mouse and keyboard at three.  Although she plays games. It’s taught her how to load programs, read menus, and click and point with the mouse.

Some of the games she enjoys the most are Surf’s Up, Barbie’s Horse Adventure, and some others related to princesses. She and her sister also have Nintendo DS hand-held gamers and have learned to play various kid adventure games.

All of this in my mind is a good thing. These skills will come in handy later when using other apps and the internet.

A short story to illustrate how far kids have come.
I was in a dentist’s office. The phone rang and the receptionist called for a six or seven year old patient, we’ll call him Johnny. Johnny took the call which I couldn’t help but overhear. He described in detail how to save and print a WordPerfect document. Seems it was his mother calling to ask him for help. He then hung up and said aloud, “My mom, I’m still training her to use the computer.”

Needless to say I felt kind of inadequate even though I knew how to use the computer. I knew exactly what some kid in grade one knew.


A Day at KOA

July 30, 2008

During our recent RV trip we decided to stay at parks that had electric and water hook-ups as a minimum and a pool for the kids. Sure our motorhome can be self-sufficient. We can camp in more primitive parks without hook-ups, but with three little ones and a spouse who is not into the wild, power is essential. I have to agree.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA), who by the way I have no financial interest in, run campgrounds all over North America. Almost all sites have electric and water as a minimum, many others also have sewer connections.

To illustrate this I will take the KOA in Billings, Montana. Located just off Interstate 90 (I-90) at first glance it appears rather plain, but after you exit and enter the park one finds it’s in a beautifully wooded area right next to the Yellowstone River. Huge shade trees at throughout the park. Amenities include pool, hot-tub, playground for kids, restaurant serving specializing in ribs, store, and showers.

After registering at the office, you are given a map directing you to the site. Some KOAs have staff who actually take you to the site and ensure you are happy before leaving you.

Our site was close but not too close to neighbors, fairly level, and best of all a pull-through. What is a “pull-through” you ask? Access to your individual site is by driving in and out, with no backing up. This is a big plus when you are driving a 25 foot motorhome from which you have zero visibility out the back other than via rearview mirrors.

After spotting our RV on the level pad and making sure access to the hook-ups was easily available, translation does my electrical cable and water hose reach, the family piled out. I made the electrical and water service connections in less than ten minutes. This was important because the temperature was in the upper 80’s F. Running the air conditioning was a priority.

The site we had also had a cable TV connection so the kids were able to watch their favorite cartoon channels. Trust me this is essential.

We had arrived at about 5:00 p.m local time. I took the kids to the playground while Cindy started part of supper on the stove. Once I got the kids looked after, I returned and barbequed some burgers on our portable propane grill. After supper our six-year old did some skateboarding (the laneways were paved), then we all went for a swim to cool off and relax.

Swimming tired the kids out, so back at the RV they got into PJs and family movie night started. A DVD was selected and they watched along with mom and dad before retiring after a long day. By the way noise or party animals are not an issue at this or other parks. Quiet time after 10:00 p.m. is strictly enforced.

We had planned to stay only one night, but the family so enjoyed the park we signed up for another night.


RVing at KOA Campgrounds

July 26, 2008

Just a short post about our trip. We tended to stay at Kampground of American (KOA) sites with our motorhome. Sure we are independent enough to rough it a little, but at the end of the day with three little ones needing to let off some steam and then wind down for bed, these have several advantages,

– for about $40 you get full hook-ups, electric and water, sometimes sewer. This enables one to run the rooftop air conditioner and a TV. Contrast this with a $150 hotel room.
– it let us give the little ones showers in the RV without worrying about water.
– took along a TV with DVD player built in. After the kids played and got jammies on, we had a family movie night complete with popcorn to end the day.
– all the KOAs had children’s playgrounds and most had pools or waterslides. Great way for them to wear themselves out.
– the one at Mount Rushmore even had a shuttle bus where for $4 each for the adults (kids free) we were taken to the evening lighting ceremony and got time to tour the interpretive center as well. The price also included admission to the National Monument.
– the campsites at these facilities are quite level and easy to pull into for us motorhome drivers.
– I was hooked up to electric and water within 10 minutes or less of parking the RV for the night. No luggage to unload.
– every KOA has WiFi (wireless internet) so the laptop was well used.

We ate at fastfood places a total of twice in almost two weeks. The usual for our family is once for lunch at $35 per crack and a family dinner in the evening at $80 a pop. We all ate healthier as a result. We never stayed at a hotel or motel. Our driving was only about 4 hours a day so gas was not too bad.

Another big benefit was the ability to park at a shopping mall and let my wife shop, while the kids and I relaxed in the motorhome. I usually leaned back and had a brewsky while the kids drew pictures or did puzzles.

More later and pictures as well.


The Davis’s Vacation: Apologies to the Griswold’s

July 11, 2008

A road-tripping we will go. This weekend our family leaves for a planned two weeks of enriching the gas stations of the United States and Canada. The plan is to make this family fun for all. How the heck do you do that? Traveling with three little ones that can be hard to manage, but here are some of the ways we hope to make it enjoyable for all,

1. Don’t drive long distances in one haul. The plan is to drive only 4 – 5 hours per day.

2. Stop early in the evening. This should allow for ease of getting campsites and a more laid-back set up of the motorhome. Kids will have time for burning off energy before bed.

3. Visit attractions that appeal to all of us, especially the kids. Flintstone park and waterparks here we come.

4. Always ensure shopping malls are on the agenda along the way. This keeps my wife happy. Happy wife = happy life.

5. Stop frequently at picnic sites along the way. This lets the kids burn off steam and gets some food into them other than the “fine fare” found at the roadside choke’n’pukes like McDonalds.

6. Load the motorhome with provisions: snacks, DVD player and movies, iPods, crafts, coloring books, markers, and Tylenol (for Mom and Dad).

By the way I do plan on taking my laptop along. Most of the KOA’s and other RV parks have WiFi now so I will try to post along the way.

We have done several weekend camping trips with the RV, but it is still relatively new to us so I’m sure we’ll have some adventures along the way. It’s wonderful to camp in relative luxury, power, water and air conditioning. Makes the outdoors much more enjoyable.

Note: For those who don’t know – the Griswold’s are the dysfunctional family who take a cross-country trip in the movie “Vacation” which was released in 1983 and became a cult favorite. It starred Chevy Chase.


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