May 2011 Archives

Daily Distraction

Looks Like Those Education Cuts Are Starting to Pay Off...

By Bob on May 31, 2011 6:11 AM | Read More

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In the Mirror

Burn Notice

By Charlotte on May 30, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

Painful. Red. Scorched skin. Ouch! I've been there toooo many times.


Just ask my girlfriends. They'll tell you that I always burn on our beach trips. Like last year, when we went to Grand Cayman Island to celebrate my neighbor Shelley Tyler's 50th birthday (she's the baby in our group!).

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Catching Up With..

Catching Up With...Gene Tyler

By Bob on May 27, 2011 6:22 AM | Read More

Gene is President of United Specialty Benefits (USB), an employee benefits management company in Bedford, TX. He's a father of two lovely daughters (Lindsey & Mallory) and - you wouldn't know it by looking at him - is a grandfather (Maverick).

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Boomer Box Office

Daydream Nation

By Bob on May 26, 2011 5:28 AM | Read More

Daydream Nation is a movie that will haunt you. It's a coming of age tale that avoids the sunny clichés usually associated with the genre by substituting a slightly dark, ironic story worthy of David Lynch.

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Guest Room

It's Not Easy Being Weedy

By Bob on May 25, 2011 6:33 AM | Read More

I hate weeds. During the summer I routinely spray Roundup on anything that looks suspiciously like a weed in a never-ending battle of man Vs nature. Nature almost always wins, but that doesn't stop me from trying. That's why I was happy when the folks at Preen asked me to try their weed preventer. Of course, you know what I said don't you internets? "Dude, you had me at pre..."

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Daily Distraction

You'll Excuse Me If We Don't Shake Hands...because,

By Bob on May 24, 2011 4:16 AM | Read More

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Don't Try This At Home

The Doobie Brothers Pay Us A Visit

By Bob on May 23, 2011 5:53 AM | Read More

We're doing a remodeling project at Blogger HQ to take in some attic space and create a new home office. We've hired our favorite contractors Doug and Christine to tackle this job and basically turn our lives upside down for the next two months. Join us as we explore whether remodelers and home owners can peacefully coexist and/or find out if it's OK to dump a body in a construction dumpster. 


Remodel Diary - Day 2


So they had to disconnect the gas line and move the water heaters to make room for the room. Don't get all existential on me and ask how a room can be more room. This isn't a philosophical debate and you're not talking to a Zen master, this is Bob and his remodel drama diary.


Contractor Doug scheduled Day 2 to relocate two, 50-gallon hot water heaters. This meant turning off the water and gas and rerouting gas lines in the attic. My basic understanding of this complicated procedure was "plumbers will be involved."


Plumbers? Got it!


"They make toilet flush and give me hot shower. Plumbers good!" I grunted in appreciation for their skill.


Not so fast there jungle boy. As it turns out, "Plumbers not so good." At least these guys weren't.


My first clue that trouble-was-a-brewin came in a mid-morning phone call. "Did I mention that the gas to the stove would still be off when you come home tonight?" Contractor Doug asked. "Nope, but that'll just give Charlotte a break in the kitchen. No problem," I said trying to sound like a good little homeowner.


"Shower?" I asked. "You'll at least have him connect the hot water heaters so we'll have a hot shower in the morning. Right?"


"Uh, yeah, I'll make sure they get the hot water heaters up and running," he said. Something about this didn't ring true, so I made a mental note to check out the water first thing when I got home.


I dropped the mail on the bar and turned on the kitchen faucet. Hmmmm....cool water...getting warmer...getting warmer...getting Colder...GETTING MUCH COLDER...OMG...it's turning BLACK!

Oh Black Water - 300.jpg 

In 30 seconds I'd gone from clean, clear, lukewarm water to BLACK WATER and there wasn't a Doobie Brother in sight (stay with me, this is a 70's song reference).

This was our Doobie Brothers Water...

May I remind you we live in Collywood dahling.  This simply isn't DONE.

I called Contractor Doug about my DOOBIE BROTHERS WATER and he came right over.


He turned on valves, blew out lines, lit pilot lights, climbed all around the attic and did a "work-around" until the plumbers could come back and take care of the STNF (s*** that needs fixin). I had non-Doobie Brothers water by the time he left. 


It's water that would like to get hot...but it just can't commit (clearly a guy thing).


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It's About Time

By Charlotte on May 20, 2011 10:10 AM | Read More

Our one-and-only-son Cole doesn't own a watch. He's 24 and shuns jewelry of any kind, preferring to check the time on his cell.


That's not for baby boomers like me. Quite the opposite, I'm lost without my trustworthy timepiece. It's the first accessory I put on; though never the last. I love layering so the more the merrier!

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I usually reach for my two-toned Michael Kors wristwatch without even thinking. It's an easy choice because it goes with either gold or silver. But when the folks at RumbaTime showed me their trendy, silicone watches, I knew I was in a rut.



You could win a sporty RumbaTime watch ... FREE.


Click "Read More" to choose your favorite unisex style and color.

Contest ends June 2!


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Dust Jacket

Where the Wind Blew

By Bob on May 19, 2011 6:07 AM | Read More

Bob Sommer's terrific debut novel, Where the Wind Blew, will take you back to the days of "Don't Trust Anyone Over 30" and "Free Huey". Baby boomers will understand those references and will enjoy every time-traveling minute spent between its covers.

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Remotely Possible

Travel APPalicious

By Bob on May 18, 2011 2:42 AM | Read More

The official start to summer is just a couple of weeks away and a lot of us are going to be hitting the roads and airport bars taking to the skies. Miss Charlotte and I will be right there with you, so if you see me in a backwater barbecue joint in Mississippi or the Admirals Club at LaGuardia, say "Hi," but say it real LOUD because I'll be wearing my noise-cancelling headphones and rocking out to Robert Earle Keen's, Gringo Honeymoon.

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Daily Distraction

The Buck Stops Here...ewwwww!

By Bob on May 17, 2011 1:59 AM | Read More

See what happens when the kids get into the deer corn...

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Guest Room

No More Little Old Ladies!

By Bob on May 16, 2011 6:39 AM | Read More

Barbara Morris', No More Little Old Ladies! 15 Essential & Specific Proven Anti-Aging Strategies for Gutsy Women in Their 40s and 50s, should be required reading for every Boomer. It's that good.

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Blue Valentine

By Bob on May 12, 2011 6:49 AM | Read More

Alfred Hitchcock once described the movie watching experience as the ultimate "voyeur" activity. In his view, there was nothing better than sitting in the dark and watching a story unfold. That's exactly the feeling I had watching Blue Valentine. After spending 114 minutes with its two characters I felt as if I'd been spying on them during the defining day of their relationship.

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Guest Room

Dishing with Ted Allen & Robert Mondavi

By Bob on May 11, 2011 4:12 AM | Read More

Food Network's Ted Allen is coming to the Taste Addison event May 20-22. The culinary genius will be whipping up some easy-to-fix (and incredibly delicious) treats on the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine stage.

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Daily Distraction

Hot from the Oven...?

By Bob on May 10, 2011 3:45 AM | Read More

Don't you think we're taking this whole "truth in advertising" thing a bit too far?

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Don't Try This At Home

My Evil Twin

By Bob on May 9, 2011 6:42 AM | Read More

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Every now and then I get mail addressed to my evil twin "Bill".


Just when I think he's moved to another city, I get something that reminds me he's still around.


Oh, I haven't told you about my twin? Jeez, where are my manners? Let me introduce you to "Bill".


Bill isn't an imaginary friend - he really does exist. He's the combination of "Bob" and "Hill". Put 'em together and whadaya get? BILL. I get so much stuff addressed to Bill that I'm thinking about listing him as a dependent on my tax return (KIDDING. Mr. IRS agent, this is just blogger humor).


He surfaces all the freakin' time. Just yesterday I get an email from a former business associate who's looking for a job. He wants a favor. No biggie. Happy to help. Until I read his email and he ends by saying THANKS FOR THE HELP, BILL.




Yeah, I'll tell the SOB you're out of work and maybe HE'LL find you a job. Fat chance. That bastard is my EVIL twin - he don't do nothin for nobody. Did I mention he's evil? Oh, yeah. Bill's been to prison and from what I've seen, he's not afraid of going back.



All he gets is S*** that Needs Fixin (STNF). And that crap winds up on my To Do List.



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You Could Clean Up!

By Charlotte on May 6, 2011 6:49 AM | Read More

Jeans 200.jpgLet's be honest. We're better off hiding some things from our husbands. In my case, it's jeans, blouses, even panties. (No, Bob doesn't wear them. Ha! Wait till I tell him you immediately went there!)

Instead, my ever-efficient husband puts EVERYTHING in the washing machine:

·         Skinny jeans that I'm always worried will shrink.  

·         Delicate tops and unmentionables that should be hand-washed.

·         Dresses that need dry cleaning. 

We're giving away three starter kits including everything you need to ditch the dry cleaner and begin using Dryel ... FREE.

Read on for details on how to enter. Contest ends May 19!

All wind up in the washer and dryer if I'm not careful. Don't get me wrong. I love having a helpful husband. But, since it seems real men can't read clothing-care labels, I usually put my dirty clothes in a "do-not-touch" bin safe from Bob's reach.  I prefer handling them myself because I follow instructions to the letter. If a label says "Dry Clean Only," you won't find me attempting laundering at home. (Yes, you might say I'm a Type A!) 

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Dig This

Kennedy Irish Primroses

By Charlotte on May 5, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

John F. Kennedy has been on my mind lately. 2011 marks the 50th anniversary of his inauguration as President of the United States. And I recently got a behind-the-scenes look at his life courtesy of the REELZ Channel's controversial The Kennedys miniseries.

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Here's the Dish

Chipotle-Charged Salad

By Charlotte on May 4, 2011 9:30 AM | Read More

Chipotle Salad - 3-09.jpgWe love foods with a little kick like this quick main-dish salad.  It's full of flavor but light on calories.


Stir together these dressing ingredients and set in fridge while you make the salad:

2 teaspoons dried cilantro

1/3 cup light sour cream

1/2 chipotle chile canned in adobo sauce, diced - use more chile for more heat

1 teaspoon adobo sauce

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons lime juice

Pinch of salt


Combine these salad fixings in a large bowl:

2 cups baby salad greens

2/3 cup chopped, grilled skinless chicken breast

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1/2 peeled avocado, diced

1 cup canned pinto beans (about one-half of a 15-oz can), rinsed and drained

½ cup frozen whole-kernel corn, cooked and drained


Pour dressing over salad and toss gently.  Divide between two pasta bowls and enjoy immediately!  Serve with corn or flour tortillas.


Makes two main-dish servings.


Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe on one of our favorite sites: www.myrecipes.com.


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Daily Distraction


By Bob on May 3, 2011 5:41 AM | Read More

I think I remember seeing this guy in the 80's. Since then, not so much...


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The List

Mother's Day

By Charlotte on May 2, 2011 8:00 AM | Read More

Ever feel like you're turning into your mother? Well, I'm just about there.

I've always looked like my mom; now I'm starting to think like her too. Although Bob's not entirely sold on this concept, it gives me a real edge when it comes to rounding up sure-to-please Mother's Day gift ideas like these:

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Red Thong Strong: Girlfriends Little Secrets to Smoothing Lifes Panty Lines
Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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