Whaleherd's GHD 2014

Feb 2, 2014
Six more weeks of winter!  Despite overcast skies, Phil saw his shadow!  At least if he is wrong, an early spring is less likely to attract lawsuits than a sky-dumping blizzard.   And with a 39% accuracy rate since 1886, one might take these things into consideration.

Feb 1, 2014 

Dear Fellow Groundhog Day Lovers,

Once again, we wrap up our Groundhog’s Day Eve events with the Groundhog Day caroling and some hot Groundhog tea while sitting near the swamp cooler.  Making those dirt angels was exhausting.  Now we anxiously await P. Phil’s prognostication and hopefully, this year, he won’t be indicted for a bum forecast--furrvilious lawsuits (click here to read news article).  

Recapping the Whaleherd's 2013, that wild ride started in February when we found out that Tom had to have his heart re-plumbed.  Evidently, it was leaking as bad as the house we were remodeling. 

The doctor mentioned that the surgery was not a big deal.
“We do it all the time.  We just crack the chest open and repair the little valve.”   
Tom responded, “B-b-but, I play French horn for a living.”  
“Oh, that’s not a problem for us.  My niece plays the recorder,” he poorly introspected. 

That sent me into an internet-information-gathering-tail-spin resulting in the conclusion that Tom should apply to be a candidate for a robotic, minimally invasive procedure at Cleveland Clinic.  Though it can all be summed up in a few sentences, it was a real saga of hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, preparation, RV travel, and anxiety with a side of family vacation thrown in for good measure.  Outside of being dead for 8 hours, Tom fared the experiment quite well.  Sam announced that the summer’s travels were ‘better than Africa’.  So, of course, we bought a bus. 

Currently, this bus operates splendidly as an extra bedroom—as long as you don’t mind that extra bedroom being in a diesel truck mechanic's shop.  We are working towards bedroom mobility, but feel confident that its glorious deficits will always provide ample chronicle fodder.  AAA appears to be an excellent investment for the upcoming maiden voyage.

MADLIBS Section (fill in the blanks with an appropriate word):
With the smashing of a bottle of (alcoholic beverage) on the (part of a vehicle), 
we’ll christen our (RV type vehicle) named, (proper name), 
as it rolls out of the shop (direction)-ward, into (location).   
Tom (verb) his (noun).

No matter your insertions, it is plausible. 

Suggested names to be painted on the front of the bus: 
Rhoda Geen (as in “On the”)
Hale on Wheels
Hale’s Handbasket
Birdienda (it is a Blue Bird bus)
Birdienda Basket 
Bird Brains

Other news of non-interest:
We were invited to a wedding recently and I had the sudden realization that we looked like a refugee family fresh from escaping the throes of mayhem.  I decided to exercise some quality control so that we wouldn’t be confused with the Duck Dynasty crowd.  Everyone’s hair, pits, beards, were cleaned and trimmed.  We managed to wash the mud off of Sam.   Somehow, they recognized and treated us as human beings and not stray groundhogs.  

But oddly enough, the principles of quality control that were applied that singular day did not go unnoticed by other members of our family.  Shortly after the wedding, Kaghondi indicated that the jeans I was wearing needed to be retired.  They were no longer even candidates for a Goodwill donation.  I’m not sure which is worse, someone from a developing country exercising quality control on my wardrobe, or the fact that I’m not convinced by his reasoning.

We did manage to find some warm clothes with less holes for our New York adventure.  In an effort to practice wisdom in gifting, we try to purchase experiences rather than stuff.   So Kaghondi’s birthday, graduation, and Christmas presents were a round-trip ticket to New York.  Daryl, too; though, if she doesn’t graduate from anything we’ll request a refund.  We stayed with a dear friend in Brooklyn and ran completely out of time and legs before we could see it all. 

This year’s Groundhog Day video is another collection of poor cinematography, sad editing, and weak attempts at cinematic humor.  As my actors/actresses/crew continue to age and become potentially more help, their interest in the creation of the project wanes.  Other seemingly urgent technology (such as Mine Craft and TV) offers convenient distractions and trumps my efforts in fabricating the family docu-drama.  But I persevere so that the GHD video becomes my kids’ newest distraction and then I can express disdain with perfect circular logic.   

 "The groundhog is like most other prophets; it delivers its prediction and then disappears." -- Bill Vaughn
"This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather." -- Phil Connors from the movie, Groundhog Day

Decorating the Groundhog Cookies with Quality Control and Circular Logic,

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