A Great But Quiet Holiday
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 at 03:40 UTC
Category: Seasonal

Since it was Sunday, the first thing we did this morning was attend church. The Sunday school children put on a nice musical presentation entitled “There’s Nothing Dull About America.” After church we got donuts for breakfast. In the afternoon we watched the original Spiderman movie. For dinner we had roast chicken for dinner along with potato and macaroni salads, and French bread on the side.

Joe’s friend came over to spend the night. We watched the fireworks from a spot down the street from our house. Today we will meet at the home of some friends for a barbecue and a fun visit.

Who’s This Carly?
Posted Monday, July 5, 2004 at 03:40 UTC
Category: Charlie

In addition to changing the spelling of my name from Charlie to Kharlie on this website, I had it changed on my name tag at work as well. This was a pretty gutsy move, since I am well aware that the name Kharlie looks much as if it should be pronounced with a hard “K” sound, as in Carly.

I made the change effective Thursday, July 1. The first evening at work, it was so busy that no-one even noticed the change. Or at least no-one said anything about it. I thought I saw a few customers glance at the name tag, intending to call me by name, then decide not to tackle the pronunciation. But of course I couldn’t be sure.

At break time during my Friday shift, a young lady, one of my co-workers, asked me, “Is that how you spell your name—Kharlie?” I proceeded to explain that I was trying a new spelling. Later that evening, another co-worker, a young man, asked “Who changed your name tag?” Then I explained to him that I had actually done it myself, using the computer, in 24-point Arial type. One of the supervisors had printed me a regular name tag earlier, but someone had thrown it away before I could pick it up. Apparently whoever did it, thought that “Kharlie” was a typo.

Nothing more was said until my last break on the long Saturday shift. The store was incredibly busy due to the upcoming Independence Day holiday. The lady I was working with, looked at me with a puzzled look. “Carly?” she finally said.

I started laughing and then explained to her that I was trying something new and different. Another co-worker, a guy in his twenties, sitting at the same table, simply said, “Whoa.”

Joe’s youth pastor brought up our website on his cell phone from Michigan last week. The home page failed to load entirely because there wasn’t enough memory (I forgot to remove the old posts from the page, so it was too long), but the June 28 post did load, complete with my photo. “Who’s this Carly?” was the first thing he said.

A client for whom I am building a website, spotted the amended name on a webmaster notice at the bottom of his home page, and thought it was a typo. He pronounced it “Carly” too. So did our pastor, the first time he saw it.

This is all fun for now, but it could get tiresome in a couple of months. If enough people keep calling me Carly, this new spelling may be just a Summer 2004 thing.

More Reactions to Kharlie
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2004 at 02:00 UTC
Category: Charlie

After ten days of wearing the name “Kharlie” on my name tag at work, I can say that it has been interesting. Quite a few of my co-workers have commented on it. Most of them say it looks like it should be pronounced “Carly,” but since they know me, they know it is supposed to be pronounced “Charlie.”

Yesterday (Saturday) at 9:30 a.m. I received my first response from an actual customer. A lady asked me jokingly, “Is this ka-HAR-lee?” I said no, it was CHAR-lee. “I thought it was CHAR-lee,” she replied, “but I wondered if you were with the crew of HHFFRRRGGH Inn?” That’s the name of a local bar, and it’s pronounced “ha-FARG.”

About half an hour later, another customer commented on the name spelling. I explained what I had found on the Internet while searching for Kharlie: only two guys and about half a dozen girls with that name. I told her that I felt confident by now that I was a man, so it was no problem. The lady laughed. “Good luck, Charlie,” she said.

Unless something spectacular happens (and I can’t imagine what that would be), this will be the last post on the subject unless I decide to change the “K” back to a “C.”

The Cats’ Fleas and Rash
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 04:45 UTC (modified at 21:15 UTC)
Category: Our Cats

We took Sunny to the vet today with an itchy rash under his chin. Dr. Mike said it was feline acne, and it could be caused from the plastic food dish we’re using; he advised us to switch to metal, and use peroxide to clean the area and also some antibiotic ointment.

Both cats still have fleas even with the Hartz collars, although not as bad as before. BUT, the collars are irritating the cats’ necks. Dr. Mike gave us some stuff called Advantage by Bayer; you put the stuff beneath the hair on the back of their necks (so they can’t lick it off), and they absorb it within 48 hours. It comes out in their oil glands and kills fleas for up to a month.

Kind and Encouraging Words
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2004 at 05:07 UTC
Category: Internet

A few hours ago I received these kind and encouraging words from a visitor named Martin in Wallingford, Connecticut (USA):

I don’t normally contact people regarding their site unless I have spent some time on it. Yours I did. It was so nice looking through all the pictures and reading all the wonderful things. Thank you for a nice spot on the web. I guess we all have something to offer the world no matter how long it takes someone to see it. :) Thank you.

U.S. Flag Stolen
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2004 at 21:20 UTC
Category: Patriotic and Political

Up until Wednesday afternoon, we had a nice U.S. Flag flying in front of our house. The flag holder was (and still is) mounted on the corner of our front porch.

I went out this evening to get parts to fix some leaky faucets in the house, and when I returned I noticed that the flag was missing. Upon closer examination, I found that the halyard (rope to which the flag was attached) had been cleanly severed, and the end of it was still tied to the nail on the porch railing, where it had been secured. The flag and pole were both missing.

This left me completely flabbergasted! Someone had obviously gone up onto our front porch, cut the rope and stolen the flag, pole and all, and that in broad daylight! My son, Joe, had noticed a shadow on the front porch at about 5 p.m. local time, when I was preparing dinner on the Weber grill in the back yard. The shadow must have been cast by whoever stole the flag, and it must have been a hasty, premeditated job.

Why would anyone do this? It certainly was not for money, since the flag was worth only about $15 new, and of course it was used by now. It had to be a blatant act of vandalism, probably meant as a clear statement of hatred toward our nation and everything it stands for. I cannot imagine that someone would do such a thing, simply on a whim, or just to see if they could get away with it.

Another U.S. flag similarly mounted, less than a block away, was untouched. When I saw it, I was both relieved and disgusted: relieved that there had not been a rash of flag disappearances, but disgusted that someone singled us out for this abuse. Perhaps it was because we do not have a railing around our front porch (it sits only a few inches above the ground), and the thief probably thought it would be easier to steal our flag than the other one. Only a real coward would have done this.

Our home is located in the Monterey Neighborhood (also known as the Old Fourth Ward), an old section of town characterized by historic houses, many of which are run-down. Most are rental properties; the residents are mainly poor people, and there is a lot of ethnic diversity. Now I have no problem with ethnic diversity, but if someone in this neighborhood hates the United States of America enough to steal or deface our flag, I strongly suggest that he take up residence in Cuba or some other nation that is generally unfriendly to the U.S. Perhaps he will be welcome among friends.

Wendi Receives Knee Injection
Posted Thursday, July 15, 2004 at 21:20 UTC
Category: Wendi

Wendi has been experiencing knee pain since a May 28, 2004, injury that occurred when she got out of bed and the knee twisted and buckled. She let it go for awhile, thinking it would heal on its own, but it got so bad that on June 26, she had to call a relative to take her to the emergency room because of the intense pain. They gave her pain pills to tide her over until she saw Dr. Pittenger, an orthopedic surgeon, on June 29.

Dr. Pittenger diagnosed the problem as patellofemoral overload. As he described it, her quadriceps muscles in the thigh were too weak, and the hamstrings tightened up, putting too much pressure on the kneecap and femur, causing the injury. Now it’s badly inflamed and hurts a lot. Wendi was given a special knee brace and was instructed to ice the knee periodically for a few days. After that, she went through physical therapy and learned some exercises to strengthen the muscles, in hopes that her pain would gradually improve.

The exercises helped somewhat but also made the pain and inflammation worse. Wendi saw Dr. Pittenger again on July 13, and this time he injected the joint with an anesthetic which would last six to eight hours, and also an anti-inflammatory agent which would require two to three days to begin working. As of this writing, she is still waiting for any relief to happen since the anesthetic wore off.

Wendi’s Mom Gone Three Years
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004 at 05:00 UTC
Category: Wendi

Three years ago today they buried Wendi’s mother, Shirley Phillips, in Green Bay, Wisconsin (see In Memoriam — Shirley Phillips for photos). She died three days earlier, on Friday, July 13, 2001.

Big C is Back
Posted Friday, July 16, 2004 at 05:10 UTC
Category: Charlie

If you visit The Oo Kingdom often, you have probably already noticed that I have changed the spelling of my name from “Kharlie” back to “Charlie.” I am preparing an interesting explanation of all this to be posted soon in Oo’s Writings. Expect it later today or over the weekend.

Update, July 20, 2004: The new page (entitled Is It Charlie or Kharlie?) is now online.

The Last Word on Kharlie (I Think)
Posted Friday, July 23, 2004 at 05:50 UTC
Category: Charlie

In my article on Kharlie in Oo’s Writings, I forgot to mention that another of my co-workers pronounced the name as “Harley,” with a silent “K.” But the pièce de résistance was the following email response from Doug Carroll on Wednesday, July 21, 2004 at 01:17 UTC (Doug is a ventriloquist, and his partner is named Kharlie Kukamonga):

Hi Kharlie, uh, I mean Charlie,

What a hoot. I laughed out loud and one of my coworkers looked at me strange. Then I showed her the story and she laughed out loud too. She had a hard time khewing her sandwikh. I never guessed folks would pronounce Kharlie as “Carly” but now that I look at it, it makes some sense. I might add that to my routine where Kharlie has a big name tag and I can’t look at it without saying Carly. I see where you came up with the idea and it was quite clever. I enjoyed surfing your web site as well, although I didn’t get to all of it. Well, I’m glad Kharlie and I could khip in and help you out in your kharming experiment. Sorry it didn’t turn out with more Charlies than Carlies.

May God Bless,
Doug Carroll and Kharlie Kukamonga

The Latest on the Billboard Song
Posted Saturday, July 24, 2004 at 06:20 UTC

Nancy Weitemeyer of Fairfield, California sent me an interesting note on The Billboard Song. I have posted it on that page so everyone can read it.

(There are no posts for August.)