Thursday, February 23, 2006

It's Not Too Late to Shave the Pate

Word is that there's an offer in the works for Heff to have the Skullet removed on a live webcast from the Shelby County Mullet Refuge. We here at the Blog of Hatch fully support this move and if you feel the same way feel free to sound off in the comments section. I'm sure Heff won't.

Top 10 Reasons Heff Should Shave the Pate

10. Thousands of dollars saved annually on Drain-O for the shower.
9. Can finally get that KISS tattoo on the back of his head.
8. Hatch and Butterworth have promised to buy him an official Paul Stanley wig if he does.
7. Less hair weight may finally let the PT Cruiser make it over the hill to Calera.
6. The S.C.M.R. is getting reduced federal funding and needs to save money to spend on younger, more viable mullets.
5. Makes him less recognizable to ex-girlfriends in surrounding cities.
4. Local squirrels will stop being confused and humping his leg.
3. Frees up advertising space for Wilfred's Trailer of Love Swag.
2. His Brokeback Mountain cowboy hat was getting a little tight.

1. Three Words : Freaky Hairless Fornication

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Fool Your Hatch, Shame On You

Apparently I was misled recently by a certain balding Bucky who lives in the Shelby County Mullet Refuge, a.k.a. Columbiana. While most people that truly care about him have begged him to give up the fight and shave the pate like a man, apparently he is still clinging desperately to his small island of hair like his hero, meteorologist James Spann.

The really sad thing is that he won't choose to respond to any of this in the comments section. We're hear nothing but silence since his shame of living with a raggedy, frayed ring of hair clinging desperately to his scalp will force him to keep quiet.

Does a grown man really crave this look?

Hatch in Hardins

Here's a picture of me taken in Hardin's Cave by Tony Groves on our trip there back on February 8th. The person to the right is Steve Cooper, who is the president of the Nashville Grotto.

The pile of rocks, or breakdown, is typical of what you spend a lot of time crawling over in this cave. If you look closely you'll see I'm pretty sweaty at this point. Outside the cave it was abotu 25 degrees and snowing, but inside it was in the mid 50's and I hadn't figured out to unzip the overalls partway yet.

Steve is holding a slave flash unit, which is why it's so much brighter in front of him. The main flash from the camera causes the slave unit to flash a split second later. Often cave photographers will have multiple people holding slave units and can light up large areas of the cave that way.

Click on the picture for a larger version.

8 Weeks

After some good job related news today, which I'll go into at a later date, the Hatcher family headed out to Palmas Verde, our favorite local Mexican restaurant. We keep going there because the food is good, but it's probably the worst service in town.

Anyway, while we were waiting on our waitress, Senorita Houdini, to reappear we were all watching Jackson, who was sitting in his car seat. His pacifier was sort of laying on his stomach and he had his hand around it. He looked down, stared at the pacifier for a second, then lifted his hand up and plopped it in his mouth. Not too shabby for someone only 55 days old.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Death of a Mullet

Follicles of pain, easing down into the brain.
Locks of glory lost to time, twenty years they've given shame.
Desperation led to products laid on thick to promise growth.
While friends would stand there laughing as their scalps with hair was choked.
Then one day the landscape was made empty with a blade.
Smoothness leapt up quietly to give the soul some needed shade.
Somewhere now those locks still lay, no memories in them left.
For they no longer decorate the smooth, smooth pate of Heff.

February, 2006

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Caving Hatch

I've had lots of different reasons to lose the weight I've lost in the last 5 months. The main reason is to live long enough to see my kids have kids one day. One of the top 5 however is to be able to get more into an activity I briefly engaged in back in 2001, which is caving. I started going to the monthly meetings of the Nashville Grotto back in October, and soon got drafted into being their webmaster.

So for about 6 months now I've been itching to get back into some caves. While Marissa was pregnant I promised her I wouldn't disappear underground and out of contact, so I held off until this week, when I went to not one, but two caves within 4 days.

Wednesday night, despite the threat of driving snow and sleet, nine of us from the grotto made a two hour trip into Hardin's Cave. We went about a mile in and back out. Hardin's Cave is the longest cave in Davidson County and has a little over 3 miles of passageway. It's also commonly known as "Junkyard Cave" since the property it's on was actually once a junkyard and the cave contained tremendous amounts of garbage and graffiti at one time. There used to be no bats in it, but now there's a good many Eastern Pipistrelle bats hibernating there. You can get really close to them and they look like little frozen furry statues.

The cave is nice, although there is still a lot of graffiti and it's pretty muddy. There's a good bit of crawling, climbing over breakdown, and stooped walking involved at various points, and by the time I made it out of the cave a little over 2 hours after going in, I was pretty whipped. I didn't really start hurting until the next night and by Friday morning I was sore pretty much all over.

So I was a little worried about the trip to Frick's Cave in northwest Georgia we had planned for Saturday. Frick's is a cave owned by the SCCI and is only open one day a year due to the large population of Gray Bats that normally inhabit it but vacate during the winter. There was also supposed to be another snow storm hitting Nashville Friday night and Saturday, but there ended up being zero accumulation here despite the calls for 5 or 6 inches.

So we pulled out of Nashville early Saturday morning and made to the cave in Georgia about 12:30 eastern time. I was still sore but I was pretty happy about getting to go to a second cave within one week. We got our gear on and four of us from the Nashville grotto went into the cave.

This cave is much prettier overall than Hardin's, and not quite as difficult. The only real problem is that it's wetter and it's pretty hard to avoid getting wet in a lot of the passageway. Since I'm still out of shape and have more natural insulation than most cavers, I just sloshed through the knee-deep water in places instead of crawling over rocks and ledges.

In one of the bigger and more decorated rooms, you're basically standing on a huge pile of bat guano. There were a few gray bats in the room, hanging over a pile of very fresh guano, and they chittered at us until we left. The thing we found out about the huge pile of bat guano is that it's an excellent cushion when you slip and completely bust your ass sliding down a rock. That was another reason why I didn't try too hard to avoid going through the deeper parts of the stream later on in the cave.

We spent a little over two hours in Frick's as well, but we didn't completely explore all of it. We did see some signatures from 1888 and 1875 near the entrance. Graffiti sucks, but old graffiti doesn't suck quite as much I guess.

Below is a picture of me just before I entered the cave. Jay Santiago, another Nashville Grotto member who rode up with me is in the blue suit just to the left of me. We went in where you see the two people on the lower left climbing out of the cave. Check out the Flickr display on the top right of the blog for a few more pictures of the cave entrance.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Family That Cries Together...

So we took Jackson to his 6 week checkup this morning at 8:30 in Mt. Juliet. We were dreading it, because he was due to get 5 vaccinations and the doctor had already warned us he would be really grumpy about it.

So we get there and Jackson is having a great morning. He's happy and smiling and making lots of cooing noises. He measured 23 1/4 inches and 11lbs 12oz, so he's still growing like a monster. Marissa hates needles and shots, so she went up front to go ahead and pay the bill when the nurse came in with the tray of needles.

Now I don't have a problem with shots or needles. I always watch when someone is giving me a shot or drawing blood, mainly to make sure they aren't screwing it up.

The nurse asked me to hold his arms while she was getting ready. I was holding his hands with one of mine and rubbing his belly with my other hand. He was looking right at me and had this big beautiful smile on his face. That's when the nurse stuck the first needle in his leg.

At first he had this really shocked look on his face, then he gave a really big frown and started wailing. He gave me such a sad look that I started getting choked up myself and I was having to fight back tears. The nurse finished up very quickly and Marissa came back in the room pretty quickly afterwards since she had heard him screaming out at the front desk through several doors. Then she started crying too, so for a few minutes we were all three in bad shape.

We brought him back home and I left for work. Marissa called about 2:30 though and Jackson had been awake and screaming for about 2 1/2 hours. I left work early to give her a break so she could go pick up Victoria from school. I held him for about 30 minutes on the couch and he wouldn't stop screaming. I finally decided he could scream just as easy in the baby swing for a few minutes while I got something to drink, so I put him in it and turned it on. He stopped crying and stayed quiet in it for almost an hour.

He's been much better since late this afternoon and he's sleeping right now. Hopefully he'll be back to our healthy, happy baby by tomorrow or so.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Weight Update

Things have been going well lately on the weight loss front. This past week I reached 285 lbs on the new scales, which puts me at 45 lbs lost so far. I've kicked the walking up a notch and I think this has really helped out. I've averaged over 5 miles a day for the last 10 days or so.

I did take a complete break yesterday though. I was just whupped. Walking so much every day for the previous 3 weeks was beginning to take its toll and my legs were aching a little and my knees and ankles were starting to complain. I didn't even put the pedometer on yesterday, mainly because I never put on any pants to attach it to. The only thing I did that could be considered worthwhile was hold Jackson and put his new high chair together.

As a result though, I felt very refreshed today and had walked over a mile just by going to church this morning. After that we hit the mall where I put about 2 more miles by circling Opry Mills a few times. Then Victoria and I went to the grocery store, I walked the dachshund twice, and I put about 10 minutes in on the treadmill to put me at 13,500 steps for the day, or a little over 6 miles. Not too bad for a fat hairy white boy.

I had originally set a goal to hit 275 by my birthday on March 26, but I may need to set it a little lower than that. I'm thinking maybe 265 would be a good goal at this point, but I admit it may be tough to drop 20 lbs in less than two months. Ya gots to have goals though. At this point I think my ultimate goal of winning the death match with Uncle Bull may be achievable by the end of the summer.

Hatch Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking

For some reason I completely overlooked the fact that January 31 was the two year anniversary of my brush with death and receiving a pacemaker. These days I don't think about the fact that I'm a cybernetic organism very often. I notice it in the shower in the morning when I'm scrubbing my chest and when I'm checking out my disappearing gut in the mirror. The scar has faded a lot and has hair covering it, but I'm no Stephen Archer so it's still pretty visible. Heh.

Anyway, I have to admit I'm still slightly bitter about having a computer in my chest that I don't really need anymore. At least no one tells me I should be grateful for it anymore. At some point later this year I'll need to have a checkup for it, and I'm curious if they'll still want to replace it in 7 to 10 years after the battery starts to run down, even if there's been no sign of the heartblock re-occuring.