Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More like copper

My dad could be described as financially conservative. If you were trying to win Understatement of the Year. Very averse to risk and debt, he and my mom didn't buy much extra when we were kids. All their friends had boats and nice cars and whatnot, but they didn't care. In fact they scoffed at all these people "living beyond their means".
One time, not too long ago, Ojo asked dad about this philosophy versus the spend-spend-spend philosophy. His question was basically, at what point does denying yourself these things become worth it in comparison to those who were buying things when they wanted them rather than waiting for the time they could afford them. Dad's answer was pretty glum. "If you're us, it never pays off." My dad, Eeyore the mortgage lender.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

my brain doesn't mind at all

About a year ago my dad called me. This has happened probably 8 times since I moved out of his house 13 years ago. Anyway, he was calling because he had a medical question. It turns out his doctor had recently started him on a medicine to reduce his cholesterol. Those medicines can potentially damage your liver and doctors usually warn patients about drinking while taking them. So my dad calls and asks how bad it would be. I told him somewhere between no problem and fulminant liver failure where his only hope would be solid organ transplant but that it was probably okay. I mean, millions of people are on these medications and I bet most of them drink a beer every now and then.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You think you're pretty smart

Snake will hopefully fill in some details on this one, because it's a great story when he tells it. Snake was, I'm guessing, a sophomore in high school, probably 5'9", 120. My dad was working on a car, it might even have been the Datsun 280-Z of Farquar fame, and he needed some help. He had to get to a really tight spot underneath the engine to replace something structural on this car. In order to do this he had rigged a chain around the engine, yes the whole engine, that ran through a pulley. The idea was that Snake would lift this 800 pound engine into the air while my dad worked on replacing the part, his head position for certain death should his youngest son prove not up to the task. Anyway, I actually wish I could have seen the expression on Snake's face when he heard dad say, "You hold this engine up ... " I mean, you thought giving him the wrong size socket was a capitol offense? Try death and/or complete cranial dismemberment. At his most bitter moment I think I've heard Snake refer to this as a missed opportunity.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's nice to see what's going on

After Ojo moved on to college and was out of the house for a few years tensions between dad and him really eased up. They were able to relax a little and share certain joys of life, like cigarettes. One night when Ojo was home visiting he and dad went to the back porch to smoke. Ojo hadn't yet gotten his best Christmas gift ever, or maybe he was just out of Zippo fluid. At any rate, he asked my dad for a match. To which my dad replied, far too quickly, "My ass and your face. That's a match." Ojo was stunned by this middle-school sweet burn.