Well Crap, There Goes Another Year

As I write this, it’s December 1, 2012.  It’s my half birthday.


That’s right people.  Today, I turn 44 1/2.  So far, the TharpSter Mom has been the only one to wish me a happy half birthday.  Granted, it was embedded in a series of emails which ultimately discussed what she should get the kids for Christmas.


Why so much effort and planning needs to go into delivering a swift kick in the ass is beyond me.


As to why I’ve opted to write this piece at the beginning of December instead of the end is really quite an easy question to answer.  I’m currently sitting in the living room in my rocker with the laptop in my lap.  I’ve got the noise cancelling headphones on and am listening to a Shinedown concert I found on YouTube.  I found them sometime last year and have become a big fan.


Wifey is watching “The Help” while knitting scarves.  She picked up a particular technique for doing so during a Thanksgiving visit to the western branch last year.  Since then, she’s developed a nice little profit center from doing so in recent months.  Someday when she does me in, I hope she does it with one of those scarves; preferable something in a dark solid.


The dogs are each in their respective kennels staring intently at us, wishing their big brown puppy dog eyes would convince us to let them out.


Did I mention I’m starting to feel like crap?


I have all of the symptoms and indications that a nasty head cold is on it’s way.  This last week, I called in sick for the first time since April because my innards spontaneously decided they wanted to be outards (not sure about the spelling of that one).  Between the heaves, hurls, Sprite, and crackers, I managed to install a new theme here on the site and watch my special edition copy of “The Fellowship of the Ring” while I was home sick that day.


*insert your own quote from that move right here*


I figure that since I’m not going to be very productive today, I might as well start knocking out the blogs for the end of the year which have been dancing around in my skull for the last month or so.


As I’ve done for the last few years, I’m offering up my summary of 2012 and my TharpSterLutions for the year 2013.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the TharpSterLution, I’ll give you a quick daffynittion:


TharpSterLution – noun

  1. An obtainable goal achieved in a given period of time which typically isn’t as ambitious as a resolution.
  2. Guaranteed subject matter for at least one blog a year.


I went back and read my 2012 TharpSterLutions so as to determine whether these so called goals are obtainable enough.  For whatever reason, the numeration of the goals in the blog were all listed as number 1 instead of 1, 2, 3, etc.




Looking back on those goals, I can say with a level of certainty that I had a colorful mix of hits and misses in 2012.  That’s even based on the fact that we’re only 11 months in and haven’t reached full completion yet.


Here’s a quick rundown of how I did for this year’s TharpSterLutions:


  1. Got-R-Done.  Read yesterday’s blog for the full scoop.  As of 12/01, I’m not done writing that one yet.
  2. I didn’t piss ’em all off, but I have it on good authority that some of the wrong people did get pissed.
  3. Kinda.  That’s a continued work in progress.
  4. Lord knows that one’s a work in progress too.
  5. That issue was resolved with an upgrade earlier in this year.
  6. I ramped it up, but it didn’t work.


All things being equal, this year could have been a heck of a lot better than it was.  The beginning of the year started off with a very embarrassing mistake that Wifey and I committed.  It was compounded by a hubris-inspired assumption that anything can be done if you have access to the internet.  That ultimately resulted in a hard lessoned learned.


Once that bit of ugliness was out of the way, we moved onto more ambitious challenges.  That challenge came in the form of a chew toy (complete with noise maker) being disassembled by the impressive bite strength of a bored pit bull and placed in the stomach of said pooch via attempted digestion.


Hope’s consumption of that chew toy nearly killed her.  A few days of hurling, an x-ray, and a surgical session later, she was fine and had a scar she could show off in pure LBJ fashion.  Even still, she growls at the Vet and the Vet Tech who were instrumental in keep her with us.


Of course, that wasn’t the only doggie surgery we facilitated this year.  During the summer, Faith managed to break one of her toes.  I’m guessing she kicked the corner of a wall, or a piece of furniture to do that.  Sadly, the break was close enough to the end of the toe that it couldn’t be repaired.  As such, it had to be amputated instead.  That dog is no worse for the wear, and is still as tenacious as she ever was.


My work in Cubeville continues to frustrate me.  There are plenty of rays of sunshine there, and they certainly outweigh the potholes.  Since I own the pick axe which has made those potholes, I only have one person to blame for those frustrations.  Even still I’ve got to wonder how much more I’ll endure.


Faith coneOf the things that did go wrong in our lives this last year, they all seem to fail in comparison to what happened with the dogs.  Whether that brings my priorities into question or not remains to be seen.


There’ve been plenty of high points though.


Junior graduated high school and left home bound for college where he began studying music education.  He’s been home twice since then and has given us every reason in the world to be proud of him.


Juniorette is a sophomore in high school and continues to excel in all of her studies as well.  This year she’s learning to drive, and has yet to run the Jeep into something like a house.  Scary as it seems, she’s got my sense of humor, my smart ass attitude and my ability to pull a one-liner out of left field and make it work.


That’s right people.  She’s a smart version of me.


Yes, I’m beaming with pride over that one too.


One particular highlight of the year happened on my birthday.  Aside from waiting in the DMV all day to renew my license, only to go back the next day due to a statewide computer problem, I had one of the best days of my life.  Family was in town for Junior’s graduation, and this particular group of people hadn’t been in the same room since before Juniorette was born.  Having the gang back together for that two day period was…..


I can’t think of a word for it.


Just as memorable was the birthday gifts I received.  Three shirts and a hat bearing the TharpSter name rank up there as the best gifts I’ve ever received.

So now that 2012 is being folded up and put away, it’s now time to come up with new TharpSterLutions for 2013.


They are as follows:


  1. Write more fiction
  2. Work with the dogs in order to allow them to get along
  3. Don’t piss yourself off
  4. Regardless of what’s going on, deal with it
  5. Trust your gut instincts


Well there you go.  Last year it was 6, this year it’s 5.  If I were to go into great detail on the meaning of those items right here and now, it would probably cause some trouble.  Instead, I’ll provide explanations later as the TharpSterLutions come to fruition.


Happy New Year Y’all.




Randy Tharp

TharpSter is a husband to one woman, a father to two kids, a master to two dogs, an occasional cubical occupant, and unable to make up his mind on an adequate theme for this website.

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