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A kid without a bike

tcr! · 4 days ago

In my neighborhood we have an alley that runs behind all of our houses. It’s where our garages are and where we set out our trash cans. Maggie learned to ride her bike there and all that. It’s where the real stories are.

Having the alley is nice because we can put things out there that are still good and somebody will come along and pick them up.

So a couple of weeks ago I was cleaning out my garage and wheeled Maggie’s kid bike out by the alley. She’s too big to ride it anymore and I knew somebody would snag it before long. Maybe pop a couple wheelies and jump some sweet jumps on their sidewalk.

But you wanna know who took it?

My good Christian neighbor. A few nights later when Maggie and I were coming home down the alley she said, “Hey! That’s my bike!”

Yep, it’d moved a mere 30-ish feet over into the neighbor’s yard.

Bike sitting there with the weeds

Granted my neighbor had every right to it since I put it up for grabs but it’s kind of disheartening to see Maggie’s first ride just leaning up against the neighbor’s garage the last couple weeks.

Instead of some other kid without a bike being able to ride it this summer it’s sitting there with the weeds.

PS- this is the same neighbor that choked the goose and dumped yard debris by the retention pond.

#photos #bikes #allislost

17 comments

Karly · 4 days ago

Aw man. I thought this story would end with a Maggie 2.0 riding the cul de sac and you guys smiling at the memories. 😒

tcr! tcr! · 4 days ago

Me, too.

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tism tism · 4 days ago

Ffs…selfish neighbor. Take it back. :-P

tcr! tcr! · 4 days ago

Challenge accepted!

tism tism · 4 days ago

Travis Cremer I will require detailed surveillance reports, and a battle plan.

tcr! tcr! · 4 days ago

There may be some post-op photos

fiatlux423 · 3 days ago

I’ll take it back for you and shake my fist at him if he tries to stop me

tism tism · 3 days ago

The secret “Cremer’s Army” is massing world. Look the f*ck out!!”

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reiner_j · 4 days ago

Oh Sally…..

reiner_j · 4 days ago

She can’t help it bro. She’s borderline hoarder. Ever been in her house?

tcr! tcr! · 4 days ago

No, we don’t talk to each other anymore 😁

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pynn · 4 days ago

Choked the goose?

reiner_j · 4 days ago

Geoff Pynn that really happened bro. It’s not figurative either.

tcr! tcr! · 4 days ago

Totally true.

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · 4 days ago

Yikes.

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Schocker · 4 days ago

That is sad about the bike. However, I know she is probably looking for a kid to give it to. She does that. Maybe she thought she was saving it from scrappers. Also, she’s not a Christian. I’ve talked to her many times. She may identify herself that way, but she does not accept Christ as her savior. In fact, she very rarely even goes to church. Trust me… I’ve tried to share and talk the gospel with her many times to no avail. She’s not even sure what she believes, but it’s not that needs Christ as her savior.

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fiatlux423 · 3 days ago

Take it back bro he’s a dick

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Ice cream anxiety

tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:06 am

Golden hockey mask

If we’re at a social gathering and it feels like I snub you that’s because I’m not a social butterfly. I’m more like a social moth. My wings are dusty. I check the doors to be sure they lock. I have debates with myself about what I’m supposed to do next. I have the social skills of a turtle. Just give me some lettuce.

Large groups of people don’t necessarily make me nervous, just uncomfortable. I don’t like people sitting or standing behind me. I don’t like it to the point where I’ll change seats. If I can’t see everything I feel somewhat flustered. I like to keep an eye on things.

That might sound cliche or overused or whatever but it’s because it’s a real thing that affects more people than it should.

Talking one-on-one and sometimes one-on-two is fine. I’ve researched effective communication skills and social graces. One of the best things I learned was to ask other people specific questions about what’s going on in their lives. People like to talk about themselves and then I don’t have to talk about me. High-five.

If someone invites me to come sit with their group I’m ready to get up before I even sit down. This doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of people at the table as much as that my fingernails are too long or my shoes are too tight or my eyebrows are messed up.

And it’s not that I’m stressing about those things but I’m acutely aware when I touch things of just how long my nails are.[1] Or if my feet are hot because my shoes don’t have enough circulation. I feel it when there’s an eyebrow guy out of place and usually my whole world comes to a grinding halt until I deal with him.

I don’t write these things because I need a hug. I write them because I feel bad when thinking about the people left sitting at the table after I’ve abruptly left. You didn’t say anything offensive nor did you smell bad. Well, maybe you did but I’m not going to get that close to know.

Because guess how many homecomings I went to in high school? None. How many school dances did I go to? One. And then I left after 15 minutes. Those aren’t “poor me” stories, just evidence of a long standing reservation with public suspicion. Well, it’s not suspicion. It’s ice cream anxiety.[2]

Shit happens when we’re kids and it shapes who we become, who we are. Regardless of how much we heal you can’t unbreak bones. We can burn our diaries but our DNA is infused with what we wrote. Our history doesn’t have to dictate our lives but it will cast a doubt moving forward.

Anyways, I do better at standing than sitting. Sitting is a commitment. Plus, what if there’s a fire and I need to leave immediately? That’s never happened to me but it’s a sound excuse. I don’t have panic attacks when I’m out but my thoughts wander, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. If I had boobs I would be unstoppable.

I check for my keys fairly often when I’m not at home. Doesn’t matter the situation or circumstances. Sara and I could just be having dinner and I’ll still want to know where my keys are. It’s not a nervous habit because I don’t feel nervous. My heart does skip a beat, though, if I don’t immediately feel them in my pocket.

Where the fuck are my keys? How am I going to drive home? People will look at me if I have to break into my truck. I’ll get all this attention that I don’t want. Keep your flashlights to yourself.

So there’s a dude in my neighborhood, moved in when I was drinking. Liked comic books and superheroes. I met him at a neighborhood party and I thought “oh, we could be friends!”

But we never did. I see the same antisocial behaviors in him that I know and love in myself. So I don’t take it personal when I see him in the alley and he only waves.

In related news one of the things I loved about drinking was that at those parties, the lights would dim after I got a few drinks in me and the sounds weren’t so loud. Really in reality, everything was the same but drinking made…everything not so much.[3]

Do you guys remember that one New Year’s Eve party where I was recounting a riveting tail of wonder and amazement to a fascinated and captivated crowd of more than twenty? And then after my grand finale where I saved the day everyone cheered and clapped? That one time when I was the public speaking hero?

Yeah, I don’t remember that either. Because it didn’t happen. Most likely it never will. I’m not the life of the party but I will cheer you on to be. After I floss.

I don’t have low self-esteem. I’m fairly confident that I can hold my own talking individually with you about Jame Gumb or Bill Wilson or Bobby Flay. Just don’t ask me to play Cards Against Humanity. That’s too much pressure.

#photos #socialproblems #fridaythe13th


  1. They’re never long because I’m not gonna let that happen

  2. If you don’t know what that means I don’t blame you

  3. If that doesn’t make sense that’s okay

20 comments

asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:33 am

I can relate to so much of what you described. I suppose for me it’s social anxiety. I don’t like going to parties, I don’t like large groups of people that I don’t know and it’s even worse if everyone knows each other and I’m the new person. We have an invitation to a Thanksgiving party we haven’t replied to b/c of my anxiety….I’ve only met the couple once. John knows the husband well but I don’t want to go to someone’s house with a bunch of people I’ve never met. Then I wonder why I don’t have friends…this type of thing right here. :(

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:50 am

I set time limits for how long I’m willing stay somewhere. With a group of people I don’t know, that limit would most likely be 15 minutes. Then I can leave everybody murmuring amongst themselves.. “who was that dashing man in the golden hockey mask?”

asquared01 · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

If you’re at least making a 15 minute appearance, you’re a better person than me. I’ll be replying “can’t go” to that invite. 😬

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:45 pm

How about you guys go for 10 minutes? Drop off a can of that cranberry sauce that makes people swoon? And then announce boldly to crowd, “we’re taking turkey pot pies to the homeless shelter on 5th Avenue.” Nobody would blink as you slammed the door on your way out.

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keamoose keamoose · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:39 am

Yes, exactly.

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Hater McGhray Hater McGhray · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:52 am

Yep

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prokop · Nov 1, 2018 at 11:24 am

Get out of my head. Haha.

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fleming · Nov 1, 2018 at 12:58 pm

I know, right??!! I think there are a lot of us out there, just “faking it till we make it”!

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Mona · Nov 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm

Story of my life.

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:30 pm

One time when I was in college I went up to give a speech. In front of the whole class. 20 seconds in I said, “I can’t do this.” And then I went and sat down. 👍

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Jim J · Nov 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm

Snazzy. That’s a technical term.

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 4:24 pm

As is fancy!

Jim J · Nov 2, 2018 at 5:56 pm

Yup

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Mitchell · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Totally get it uncle Trav I am very much like you believe it or not I looked up/still look up to you for years

tcr! tcr! · Nov 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Love you man!

Mitchell · Nov 2, 2018 at 6:45 pm

Love you too unc

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threecrates threecrates · Nov 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm

Incredibly written as usual pal. Love this! ❤️

tcr! tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 7:10 am

Thanks man! 🍬

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Nov 1, 2018 at 10:55 pm

It happens to me out of the blue. Everything can be ok and suddenly I’m overwhelmed with panic. I’m never aware of “what happened” if anything.

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tcr! tcr! · Nov 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

Might be a short circuit. Of course I’m not a doctor or biologist.

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I only fought with the police once

tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 9:40 am

Audio (MP3): 20180822 - I only fought with the police once

I only fought with the police once and there was only one of them. And it was 3 in the afternoon. And I was drunk and feisty. And then he tackled my 19 year old self in an alley and one side of my face ended up in some gravel. And then I went to jail with a swollen eye. And got to spend the rest of the evening sobering up.

About 9pm or so and no longer drunk, I decided I would never fight with the police again.

Scarface for PS2

#realhorrorshow #thepolice #diariespodcast

6 comments

Momma J Momma J · Aug 22, 2018 at 10:42 am

Wise decision!

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 12:21 pm

I think so, too. 😊

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marney0160 marney0160 · Aug 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I’m right there with ya dude! 😜

tcr! tcr! · Aug 22, 2018 at 9:39 pm

My only regret is that I wasn’t wearing a leprechaun outfit.

marney0160 marney0160 · Aug 23, 2018 at 6:16 am

Bahahaha! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

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Irene · Aug 25, 2018 at 10:20 am

Great decision! At least it only took you one time…

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2018 Street Improvement Project, an open letter

tcr! · Jun 26, 2018 at 8:59 am

An open letter to C. Elton, Civil Engineer I:

It was with great anticipation and suspense that I read your letter (Exhibit A) regarding the saw cutting about to commence in my neighborhood, dated June 25, 2018.

As you can see I’ve made little haste in responding via email. Even though you offered your local phone number I prefer not to talk on the phone as there were one too many times when I was younger that my mom handed me the phone while she was talking with some dear, distant relative. I had little interest in talking to the person on the other end but still my mother insisted I take the handset and carry on a conversation like I knew who Uncle Leroy and Aunt Loretta were.

However, when I write these words, they flow like a magical river thesaurus dinosaur as I press the delicate yet responsive keys on my iPad Pro’s external and official keyboard.

Now then, to the matter at hand: the partially removing and replacing of the curbs and sidewalks. First off let me say I was simply delighted that your letter contained a map of Geneva on the reverse. I haven’t had a printed map of our great city since Mayor Burns confiscated mine last winter at City Hall. I was merely parading around with my photocopied map, holding it high in my right hand when it was unduly snatched away from behind. I didn’t realize it was against city ordinance to proudly display photocopies in a social space during the Christmas season. I could not find any such said ordinance listed on any of the city’s webpages.

Regardless, your letter mentioned “the white marks on the curb and sidewalk indicate…” However, after closely inspecting the aforementioned map with my trusty and wood-handled magnifying glass, I only see black lines (Exhibit B) indicating the streets where the traffic masonry repairs will be done. Would you clarify these white and black discrepancies?

Moving on, the hours listed (7:00 AM and 4:00 PM) are quite broad. My heart sank as a I recalled the time I phoned the Comcast support team and they gave me similar appointment hours, all for me to insist their team physically ensure and technically verify that my cable modem is indeed the T-1000 model and not the inferior yet still hardworking T-800 (Model 101).

Regarding your hours, Geneva Construction Company of Aurora, IL is in luck as I have secured one vacation day for their renovation work. I will be in my neighborhood and onsite to lend my invaluable knowledge to the 2018 Street Improvement Project.

Reason being for my attendance: when the concrete around select manholes was repaired earlier this month (Reference 1), a delinquent or two deliberately carved profanities and a single penis into the square just north east of my garage (Exhibit C). I don’t mind a good profanity now and then but the public display of male genitals (genitalia?) pushed the bounds of common alley decency.

Yes, these were deliberate defacements. I know for an artistic fact that penis cannot be accidentally added to wet concrete. It was done out of sheer sneered rebellion. I will also add that their male renderings were of little to no value. The anatomical reference was poor and the artistic delivery subpar. It was not attractive upside or down. I might also like to know where Mayor Burns was when this city ordinance was being trampled like a snake not wanting to be tread.

Luckily I was out surveying Geneva Construction Company’s work as soon as I returned home and used my newly purchased sandal (right foot) to deface the defacement. I purchased the above sandals from DSW since I already have an account in their system. I tried to use my ex-wife’s account at the suggestion of the clerk but alas she was not in the system — my ex-wife, not the clerk. How I got into their system remains a cloudy, foggy mystery surrounded in mist. It’s a damp mystery, Elton! I never, ever offer my phone number even if it will save me $2 at CVS. I have my own systems mind you.

With all that said I would like to suggest security personnel patrol the area 24/7 until the last construction truck has rolled out and away from the neighborhoods. If that would tax the city’s street repair budget, possibly infrared security cameras could be posted intermittently and yet high enough delinquents (artistic or otherwise) in the area could not reach and disable them.

Maybe laser tripwires? No, that would never do. They use them periodically in Fallout 4 (my favorite video game as of late) and they’re too easy to spot and disarm with their thinly red glowing beams. I prefer landmines myself since one does not know they’re there until the ticking starts. And then you better run like hell. I’m just brainstorming ideas so feel free to jump in any time, Elton.

Your letter also mentioned that the project is “weather permitting.” This phrase seems rather broad and/or vague for this detail oriented reader. Am I to take this to mean pelting rain, sunburning heat, or maybe even the highest of howling winds?

There’s also the matter of the “work” generating some dust. High winds could carry this dust across the Fox River, maybe even across the state unless the proper barriers have been installed. A scenario similar to Monsanto’s GMO corn blowing into Mexico would be worst case. I doubt if Mill Creek would be keen on our east side dust mixing in with their freshly watered golf greens. I have no solution for this as of yet but trust me, you’ll be the first to know whence I have cracked the wind/dust code.

I will also keep you apprised of the DSW mystery, as well, should any new evidence present itself.

I’m not too concerned about the noise generated personally since my neighbor’s little dog will drown out any concrete saws spinning with its incessant barking. Please pass along the tip that workers might like to wear those little orange earplugs, just to provide their inner ears shelter from the doggie yaps. He is a relentless pooch.

As a gesture of particular goodwill, shall neighborhoods provide refreshments to the masons, free or at cost? I could see dehydration becoming an epidemic for the workers if the temperature rises even above 75°F. Please note: one formula for calculating water intake (Reference 2) recommends weight × 0.5 ounces of per day for one to stay refreshed and regular.

Possibly we could postpone the project’s execution date to late August when the weather is somewhat cooler and fear of thirst deprivation, if you will, is less of an issue. We would also have an abundance of fresh tomatoes during that last summer vacation month.

We all know what it’s like to be bombarded with requests to “take some tomatoes” around that time of year. Seems everybody grows tomatoes but then after the first handful, nobody wants to put any more down their throat or in their gullet. And so then they shovel them off by the wheelbarrow to any and all innocent bystanders. Just to get the overly red, ripe fruits off their counter and out of their house. You know how it goes, Elton.

The last item I would like to discuss is the parking. Your letter clearly states in lowercase black letters, “please do not park close to these marks.” I happen to have lived on an east side cul-de-sac since August of 2008. For many years we parked straight in and there was room for all and times were good.

However, last summer the GPD began issuing warnings that cars should be parked parallel. This was in accordance with yet another obscure city ordinance. Our cul-de-sac complied and this in turn has caused an all out parking nightmare. There are simply not enough spaces now that we’re required to circle the wagons if you will. Have you ever tried to parallel park against a circular curb? My good sir, your tires will not thank you later nor will your aunt Loretta when she comes to visit from Kentucky.

Could you please speak with the chief, specifically the one from the GPD, and ask if residents may resume the traditional, straight-ahead parking during these troubled traffic times? Or at least until the 2018 Street Improvement Project is complete? Thank you so much.

I would also like to suggest that the Public Works Department investigate with the utmost scrutiny the possibility of wide spread use of hovercraft. Think of the billions that would be saved yearly in road maintenance alone. With your expert planning and crack team of civil engineering l, I know that you guys will be up to this most urgent task. I would start with the military. Surely they would share one or two of their trade secrets with you, a fine and upstanding engineer.

When you have a moment, I would appreciate any questions or comments you may have. No matter how absurd.

Again, I would like to extend my invaluable knowledge, available at your disposal through this community effort to bring our curbs and sidewalks up to Federal code. President Eisenhower would be quite pleased with your work.

Sincerely yours,
tcr!
Public Figure

CC: Geneva residents and other persons of interest

PS: I would like to clarify that I’ve only met Mayor Burns once when he came to my house. Even though his visit was not long, it was simply delightful. He’s clean shaven and as tall as all mayors should be.

#photos #publicworks #socialproblems


Exhibits

Exhibit A: Eltons letter

Exhibit B: Black lines on the map

Exhibit C: carved profanities and a single penis


References

  1. geneva.il.us/DocumentCenter/…/Other-Weekly-Notice-

  2. umsystem.edu/…/how-to-calculate-how-much-water-you-should-drink/

2 comments

Ed · Jun 26, 2018 at 10:55 am

Lol former penis

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tcr! tcr! · Jun 27, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Maggie told me this is “too long.”

I fear she may be right.

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We, as parents, make mistakes

tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 9:30 am

Audio (MP3): 20180425 - We, as parents, make mistakes

Maggie and the hurry home message

Maggie had a little scare yesterday. She had gotten off the school bus and was walking the minute walk back to our house down the alley. Some dude was also walking down the alley behind her and that didn’t sit well with her.

I generally get home 15 to 20 minutes after she does and it’s not that big of a deal for her to walk home and spend that time by herself.

Anyways, after I got back to the house we talk about what happened for a little bit, about the dude, and reviewed all the things you can do in a situation when strangers are following you. Be loud, be visible, make noise, make sure the whole world knows what’s up. It’s the same thing that animals do when they’re nervous and it works pretty well for them.

It also sounded like the guy may have just been walking 30 feet or so behind her, just going in the same direction. I’m not trying to minimize the situation but I know for myself when I panic, things aren’t truly what they seem. I got freaked out and freaked myself out several times as a kid when I was in situations very similar to hers. I can still freak myself out now as a grownup.

So anyways, here’s the real story.

Last night when I was saying good night to her I thought of something else to say around the whole stranger-danger topic. I started talking about it and then immediately thought that it probably wasn’t a good idea at bedtime.

I quickly changed the subject and we talked about something else for a few minutes. I was kind of hoping she’d forget about the whole. But people who’re more on the nervous side, they don’t forget.

This morning before school I said to her, “Last night I brought the dude up again and then realized that I shouldn’t have considering what time it was. I hope that it wasn’t on your mind as you were going to sleep. What is it?”

She said that it was for a little bit. I then told her I was sorry and that was the wrong thing for me to do, wrong thing for me to say. She nodded a little bit, absorbing what I’d just said. And then we got on with our day.

It’s important for me to be humble, for me to be human, failings and all, as a parent in front of Maggie. It’s okay for our kids to know that we as parents make mistakes. And more importantly, it’s good for them to hear us own it, too. Our kids will model their behavior after ours. Who they become as adults is directly influenced by who we are to them as parents.

And lastly, it’s crucial for me to ask direct questions if I’m worried that I’ve made a mistake. Like I asked Maggie if what I said had kept her up the night before. I could’ve just said that I hoped our bedtime talk wasn’t on her mind too much while she was going to sleep and left it at that. But that’s not good enough. I needed to ask her point blank if it was.

If I wouldn’t have asked her it would’ve left her alone with her feelings. That those uncomfortable feelings were hers to deal with. I wouldn’t have taken full responsibility for my part in causing them. And feelings like those need to be talked about, they need to be acknowledged by the person who was indeed at fault.

If I’m not 100% sure if I’ve done something wrong, I need to find out. Because that’s part of owning what I’ve done. I need to take the initiative and shouldn’t wait for somebody to tell me that I’ve hurt their feelings. Most of the time I’m pretty sure they won’t.

#maggie #amendments #advancedsoul #diariespodcast

21 comments

Karly · Apr 25, 2018 at 10:46 am

I’m glad she was aware of her surroundings.

Also, surrounding area police stations will often hold annual free self defense classes. I know St Charles just had 2 in April and Dekalb has them on occasion.

Karly · Apr 25, 2018 at 10:47 am

Correction…i think it was Naperville that just had theirs

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 11:14 am

That’s not a bad idea. She was in martial arts a few years back but a basic refresher is always a good idea.

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fleming · Apr 25, 2018 at 11:03 am

So happy Maggie is safe! We just had an attempted child abduction yesterday morning at a bus stop…kids were smart and ran, but so terrifying!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 11:16 am

That’s crazy! What the eff is wrong with people?

fleming · Apr 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

They’re eff’d up!!! Oh…and thank you sooo much for sending me your publications…I thoroughly enjoyed them!!!!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 1:55 pm

You are most welcome!

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landerl · Apr 25, 2018 at 11:42 am

Super glad she’s safe. And you are an awesome parent!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 11:47 am

Thank you!

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marney0160 marney0160 · Apr 25, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Ditto with what Linda said! And Kelly’s idea is a good one. Your advice about being loud and visible is spot on, too!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm

Thanks!!

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Momma J Momma J · Apr 25, 2018 at 1:32 pm

A fine job of parenting!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm

Why thank you!

Momma J Momma J · Apr 25, 2018 at 2:23 pm

You’re welcome and well deserved!

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Jim J · Apr 25, 2018 at 5:00 pm

Self-defense classes.

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debbie · Apr 25, 2018 at 5:50 pm

FYI

Suspicious Incident Media Release

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heylinda heylinda · Apr 25, 2018 at 8:41 pm

Our girls sound similar. Keep reminding her to trust her gut.

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elaineorr · Apr 25, 2018 at 10:11 pm

You’re a good daddy.

tcr! tcr! · Apr 26, 2018 at 8:34 am

Thank you!!

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Ryan Waters · Apr 28, 2018 at 1:16 am

Smart girl and she’s lucky to have a Dad she trusts and reaches out to! You done good!!!

tcr! tcr! · Apr 28, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Thank you!! And I believe she does trust me a little.

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A little dog and wild carrots

tcr! · Apr 20, 2018 at 7:24 pm

Audio (MP3): 20180420 - A little dog and wild carrots

Let me first say that I’m an animal lover as much as the next Dr. Doolittle. It’s rare that I meet a dog or cat and they don’t end up liking me sooner or later. I think mostly that’s because I don’t care if they like me or not.

However, the neighbor’s dog and myself, we don’t get along. He barks at me from his yard every time I’m outside in my yard. Or when I’m walking to or from my garage. Bark, bark, bark.

Obviously he’s got the short man complex.

I’ve tried making friends with him. I’ve tried explaining to him that I’ve lived here longer than he has and that gives me seniority. And on my very worst days I’ll blow my megaphone at him when he so much as lets out a whimper.

So anyways, a little while ago I was out tending my yard and little Napoleon was in his house so all was right with the world. The neighborhood people were also out walking their dogs up and down the alley as they do. And every time they did I heard him barking from inside his house.

I was thinking to myself how annoyed I get just even hearing him bark every now and then. Can imagine the horror of actually living with him relentlessly barking all the eff’ing time? I thought so.

I could only giggle quietly to myself.


Queen Annes Lace roots

In other news, does anybody know what kind of plant these are?

Some of the taproots are almost as big as carrots. It looks kinda like a dainty fern and it’s soft as a feather. It’s also decided to take over the world. Well, take over my backyard anyway.

Update: they’re Queen Anne’s Lace. Apparently a couple of summers ago I did, in fact, let them take over the world.

#photos #homeimprovement #diariespodcast

6 comments

sveagrabarek · Apr 20, 2018 at 8:48 pm

Queen Annes lace. They’re bastards.

tcr! tcr! · Apr 20, 2018 at 8:54 pm

Oh yeah!

sveagrabarek · Apr 20, 2018 at 8:59 pm

They’re excellent for anger management.

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Lisette · Apr 20, 2018 at 9:30 pm

They look like mandrake from the Harry Potter movies

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tcr! tcr! · Apr 20, 2018 at 10:14 pm

Apparently a couple of summers ago I did, in fact, let the Queen Anne’s Lace aka wild carrots take over the world.

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angeline35 angeline35 · Apr 21, 2018 at 10:09 am

I don’t have the issue with the Queen Annes Lace, however I do have the issue of the non-stop barking from the neighbor’s dog. It is a small dog that I could quite easily drop kick through the air across the yard and into never never land. ( I would never have such evil thoughts wink wink) Its very frustrating because during the warmer months I spend the majority of my time at home outside working in my backyard. I have done everything from ignoring the animal, attempting to bribe it (I almost got bitten), throwing small sticks to distract it, to messaging the offending neighbor via messenger, Other people in the neighborhood have called the police and reported them. This worked for them because now the dog is no longer allowed in the front yard only the back which is where I hang out. None of these methods work for me and finally one night last week I screamed “SHUT THE FUCK UP” and low and behold the neighbor appeared immediately and brought the offending animal inside. Finally a method that works. I will continue to do this until it doesn’t. Funny thing is she locked the dog in the basement last night where it barked incessantly but at a tolerable level for me. Not so tolerable for her however because I could hear her cussing inside the house. Tee hee motherfucker :) Love you Travy funny how we have similar problems eh :) - AJC

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Memories are what make places feel like home

tcr! · Mar 22, 2018 at 8:57 pm

Audio (MP3): 20180322 - Memories are what make places feel like home

Allison Ave satellite map


When I was a kid living in a little town in Iowa, our neighborhood, our street, our house they all felt like home to me. I always felt secure, always felt like I belonged. My life was feature complete on that block.

I’m sure it was because that house on Allison Avenue in Ottumwa was the only place I’d ever lived, the only home I’d ever known. That street just a single block long was the center of my whole universe.

A group of us kids would ride our bikes over to Mowery, maybe around McKinley, always down the Johnson ramp, and across Albia Road to Dairy Queen. Sometimes Pamida instead. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, think department store akin to K-mart.

And my mom made dinner every night and when I sat down to eat with her, my dad, and sister nothing was ever missing. The dinner table always felt full.

Since then I’ve lived in more places than I can count. Lived on both coasts and in plenty of places in between. The only time I feel that same sense of home I did as a kid is when Maggie and I are out riding our bikes.

I don’t know what it is about fixed-gears and neighborhood streets but they ring a bicycle bell with my emotions. I’m taken back to Allison, taken back to something much more than simple deja-vu. It sounds corny but it feels as if my spirit transcends space and time and part of me is there on the avenue again.

And yes, I absolutely feel a sense of family when Maggie and I are eating dinner but then again something is always missing. I feel a separation, a loss. I feel incomplete. Because my mom, dad, and sister aren’t there.

On Allison we always ate in the kitchen because we didn’t have a dining room. Maggie and I have a dining room now but we always eat in the kitchen. Because kitchens feel more like home.

I wonder if my mom felt the same way, missing her mom and dad, longing for her brothers when she was making us dinner in Ottumwa. Remembering the times around her kitchen table with her childhood family out on the farm just south of town.

I wonder if I feel like my dad did when he was making dinner for Angie and I. When we were a little bit older and the three of us lived together on Casper.

And I also wonder if Maggie will feel the same after she grows up, when she’s making dinner for her kids. Remember that one year she and I watched every episode of Lost while we ate the dinner I made for us.

“You can’t go home” the book title famously says. I’ve driven down Allison Avenue a few times as an adult, wanting to revisit the old neighborhood and all. I was hoping to feel something each time I went, recapture a little childhood magic but I only felt a distant connection to a fading past. And what’s more, I felt out of place. That neighborhood isn’t mine anymore.

My memories from the 70s are so much more powerful than actually being there. Part of me wishes I could go back but I’d have to time travel I suppose.


[…school night interlude, including showers and homework…]


I had a minor revelation after getting my earlier thoughts out in the open and letting them simmer for a bit. I almost always write to process something and what I’ve found tonight is that memories are what make places feel like home.

Maggie learned to ride her bike behind our garage in the alley. We were out there for a couple of hours and she was so close. So close, so many times but it just wasn’t happening. She was wearing down and I wanted her to keep trying. She and I both knew she almost had it. There’ll be a certain electricity when you’re on the verge of becoming more than what you have been. When you’re on the verge of flying to greater heights.

And then she got enough momentum. She let go and trusted her body. She found her balance. And then she was off riding two wheels by herself.

Fixed-gear bike, too. Because they’re bad ass.


Mom and I in the Allison kitchen
Mom and I in the Allison kitchen, July 1978. Coors all the way.


Me with my bike in front of the Allison house
Me with my bike in front of the Allison house, June 1980. Fixed-gear and banana seat. Yeah man.


#photos #mommaj #bikes #diariespodcast

1 comment

Irene · Mar 23, 2019 at 8:37 am

What a guy!! What a writer! What a beautiful tribute to your parents!!! ❤️

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No plow in the alley

tcr! · Jan 15, 2018 at 8:23 am

No plow in the alley

Marty McFly: We don’t have enough road to get up to 88.

Doc Brown: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

❄️ #photos #weather #backtothefuture

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Does anyone have experience with fire extinguishers?

tcr! · Dec 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Using them and/or buying them for home use? I feel like I should have one at home but the only time I’ve ever used one is when…

One of my brothers and I had been up all night drinking and were out in an alley a few blocks from our apartment. So then a fire extinguisher magically appeared, as they often do under such circumstances. We had no choice but to check the integrity of the unit, being all but the junior firemen that we were.

Within minutes the area’s paperboy appeared on his morning route. As if fate.

Have I told this story before?

Anyways, this paperboy must’ve felt like he’d walked into a trap because as soon as his eyes met the extinguisher he was sprinting in the other direction. My brother and I didn’t make eye contact. If a mouse is placed in front of a cat the cat will give chase. Without hesitation.

Imagine if you will two drunkards, war crying while chasing a paperboy down the street at 5am with a fire extinguisher. Used to its maximum potential.

Rest easy, of course he out ran us. Our night was winding down while his day was winding up. I’m not a mean-spirited person either. I see the escapade more as a friendly game of stranger tag. That’s a thing.

The moral of the story: when stars collide and circumstances present themselves, one should seize such good fortune.

Or not. I guess it depends on one’s age.

Also, I probably owe somebody an amends.

#confessional

4 comments

jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Dec 18, 2017 at 7:42 pm

At the library, over one I knocked. No sense of humor, they had. A big deal, you’d of thought.

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tcr! tcr! · Dec 18, 2017 at 8:35 pm

That’s funny 😊 Did the extinguisher go crazy?

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jimi hindrance experience jimi hindrance experience · Dec 20, 2017 at 12:48 am

Slightly. Even when it was happening I knew it was over reaction on their part. They had it in their mind that I was being mischievous. It was an accident.

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tcr! tcr! · Dec 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

I’ve never been a fan of automatic judgment.

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Sugar Skull Scarecrows

tcr! · Oct 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm

Sugar Skull Scarecrows

We popped into the Scarecrow Fest in St. Charles for just a minute but it was rainy, rainy. Almost nobody was there. But these guys!


St Charles alley

Also spotted this alleyway. The open chainlink fence door was, as you say, inviting.

#photos #sugarskull #cityscapes

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