The Gravley Life

Monday, August 29, 2005

The List

Some of you (you know who you are and the rest should disregard the end of this post) have asked for a list of items I would like that I don't currently possess. I gladly submit to you such a list, but first I first wanted to share with you some old pictures from my past.

Bets and I hiked to the top of Cadilac Mountain in Acadia Ntl. Park in 2000.

Adam coming out of our Boston apartment (the 2nd fl of this house), also in 2000.

Tracey, Dan, Steve, and Kevin at the stunt show in Disney's MGM Studio, in 2001.

Getting some totally sweet air jumping my RC Car into my yard in 2004.

The list (in no particular order):

  • GC to Kwalski's: A new one just opened up in my neck of the woods and it's amazing. I'd like to cook up a nice meal from here.
  • GC to Home Depot: There's always something I could use to make my house look nicer.
  • GC to Burlington Coat Factory: For baby stuff!
  • A decent bottle of Cabernet or single malt.
  • Something from London (attn: Jon) ;)
  • A new grill brush
  • A couple quality spatulas that won't melt (see spatula city perhaps)
  • A nice dress shirt (m or 15 1/2 or 16 - 34)
  • GC to or Barnes and Noble
  • An MP3 player and an FM Transmitter so I can listen to my Portuguese language tapes in the car.
  • A Wustof Forged Classic parring knife set.

Monday, August 22, 2005


It's about time I wrote a little bit about our dog, Bones (btw, that's the name he came with; we thought it'd be easier just to keep it). You can still see his online classified even though we adopted bones in January 2005. Here's what the ad said about Bones and my comments.

The ad: I don't think he is a purebred coonhound, but I am unsure of what he is mixed with. He definitely has the ticking of a bluetick.
We still have no idea what he's mixed with, though we've had guesses of Dane, Greyhound, Doberman, or even Mastif (but I doubt it) from vets and dog lovers.

The ad: He is a really sweet, affectionate young dog.
Seriously, I think he'd probably die if didn't get some lovin' from Bets or I during the course of a day. He's the most loving pet I've ever met.

The ad: He has a very easy-going personality with people and other dogs.
This is very true as long as he has 10 minutes to get to know you. He's a little shy at first with people. With other dogs on the other hand, he's very friendly right away.

The ad: He loves to give gentle kisses to children and adults.
I think this is the nice way to put that he's a licker. Kisses - my ass. Keep that tongue to yourself, buddy. Betsy, evindently doesn't mind, meaning that when I hold Betsy's hand I'm holding that hand that got licked by the tongue that licked my dog's butt. Lovely.

The ad: He doesn't seem to bark much, if at all.
This is mostly true. He'll bark if someone is approaching the house or if he's really frustrated (maybe a couple times a month if we leave outside for too long). We like that he barks at people approaching the house, it saves us from buying an alarm system.

We loves Bones very much. He's a great dog.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

An ideal weekend?

Betsy and I managed to burn up another weekend working on our house instead of doing something fun. While this gives me a feeling of true satisfaction and accomplishment, I can't help but sigh a little inside wondering what might have been.

My "dream weekend" (yes, I realize it's a corny and cliche topic, but I want to spell it out anyway), which is not likely to happen anytime soon, is this; I have absolutely no plans. I start by sitting on my couch with Betsy next to me and a couple hundred bucks in my pocket. When something strikes me as worthy of my time, I do it. No pressure, just a cornucopia of pure and unfiltered "whatever the heck I want".

Post your ideal weekend in the comments if you have a second. I'd love to know!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Spam Critic: Situation Phramacrutical!

My dad always says, "If you're already there and working, you might as well do a great job."

The makers of Spam (junk email, not delicious meat product which - incidentally - is described by Spammy the mascot as "Pork shoulder and ham, mostly. And spices. Secret spices." - scary) have failed to impress me with their writing skills and general lack of work ethic. If you're going to do something, do it right!

Below, I have taken a few of the spam messages I received at work and pointed how these writers might have lost their way (that's as politely as I can say it). I've scrambled the addresses and naughty bits for the young and the sensitive.

First of all, verbs are free. Don't hesitate to use them. "**** is Hard as steel / ED store is proud to offer..." Secondly, Brendan (if that is your real name), I doubt most people would consider your 4,999,832 imaginary friends to be part of "[your] current 5 million happy users."

I'm confused. The subject promises one service while the body of the email offers another. Amidst all this confusion, how could I possibly be expected to click your over-sized link?!

Sometimes, misspellings spawn great words. "Phramacrutical" is easily the most fun I've had with a word for weeks. Use it in place of the words critical or crucial, and I promise it will be the highlight of your otherwise average day.

Alex N probably read the DaVinci Code one too many times and expects us to decode his message. That's not likely. Wow! I almost typed that into my browser this morning just to see where it went. "find new girl in you area"?! I'll bet "Slavin" ran out of Spammer Poetry Magnets™ and couldn't form a cohesive sentence.

Since it is not in my best interest to reply to these grammatically unfortunate spammers, here is my plea to all of them:

Please, for the love of the English language and to better promote your business, learn to write a proper email message. That way, I won't be aggravated by your grammar which frees me up to be aggravated by your content instead.

Monday, August 08, 2005

A deck by any other finish would not look as sweet

"How was weekend?"

You respond faster than Jack Tripper getting into a sticky situation, "Good, how about you?" Or maybe you opt for the slightly friendlier and humorous, "It was too short! You know what I mean? Eh?" *elbow nudge* "Eh!?"

To which I reply, "I rolled up my sleeves and slaved over my deck all weekend." That's right, nothing says slap-me-silly fun more than power spraying and sealing your deck, a process that evidently takes no less than a grueling 10 hours to finish.

Although it was a lot of work, I have to admit that the results are fantastic; much better than I had anticipated.

According to my mind's eye, here's a metaphor for the before and after:

What you would perceive would probably be a little more realistic. Maybe something like this:

Still not bad! (by the way, that's not actually my deck)

While it was a lot of work, I have to admit that I earned that satisfying warm feeling of accomplishment. I know this will help the value of our house.

Next up, trimming the ceiling in the kitchen!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Zee-a Grefley Liffe-a. Bork! Bork!

In honor of a great man with the culinary skills to pay the bills, I hereforth deem every first weekend of August to be National Swedish Chef Weekend!

For those of you who do not know who the swedish chef is, here is a quote from
his wikipedia written by the chef himself:

A perody ooff telefised cooking shows, I weer a toqooe-a
bloonche-a und hefe-a booshy iyebrows zeet completely oobscoore-a my iyes. Bork Bork Bork! I wes oone-a ooff zee-a feurst Mooppets to imploy un ictooel pooppeteer's hoonds.

Neerly ill ooff my sketches begin wit me-a in a kitchee-a, wefing some-a utensils while-a singing my signetoore-a song in a tredemerk semi-comprehensible-a gibberish which perodies zee-a cherecteristic fowel sooonds ooff Swedish. Zee-a lest line-a ooff zee-a song is ilweys "Børk! Børk! Børk!", und is poonctooeted by me-a throwing zee-a utensils oofer my shooolder to cresh into zee-a crockery behind.

Iffter this introdoocshoon, I continooe-a speeking gibberish while-a prepering a perticooler recipe-a. My commentery is spiced wit zee-a ooccesionel Inglish word to clooe-a zee-a fiooer in to whet I im ittempting. Zeese-a clooes ire-a necessery is I freqooently uses unorthodox coolinery iqooipment (fooreerms, tennis recqooets, itc.) to prepere-a my dishes. This typicelly degeneretes into a slepstick finele-a where-a zee-a ingredients oor iqooipment get zee-a better ooff me-a.

Celebrating National Swedish Chef Weekendis easy! Whenever possible, simply speak with a Swedish accent and end your sentences with an exclamatory Bork, Bork, Bork!

If you need practice, just run any text or website through
The Borkifier.

Heppy Neshoonel Swedish Cheff Weekund!

Bork! Bork! Bork!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Thank Dog Almighty!

Bones is free at last!

Betsy, her Mom, and I took Bones to the
Dakota County "off leash dog area" yesterday afternoon. This park is a fenced in park where you can let your dog off the leash. It was such a great time for Bones! He had 16 acres of trails and an open area to run and play with the other dogs. There was much licking, sniffing, and romping to be had.
It cost us $5 to enter, but you can buy an annual pass for $30, which I'll eagerly do after work today after having been to the park to test it out.

Wooded section of the park

For more dog parks around the Twin Cities area, you can visit There are 18 parks around the Twin Cities. I didn't even know they existed.