Snow Flu day.

Well, guess who got an automated phone call at 5 a.m. canceling school for the rest of the week? Yes, H1N1 has penetrated our leafy suburb, a “probable” case necessitating the closing of Kate’s middle school until, God help us all, Monday. That’s unless it turns out the kid in question doesn’t have H1N1, in which case it may reopen sooner.

Which means this happened in our house this morning:

* I went back to sleep with plans to stay under the covers until 8 o’clock, an unimaginable luxury;
* The phone rang at 6:50 a.m., from a classmate wondering if we’d heard;
* The phone rang at 7:18 a.m., ditto;
* My conscience began stabbing me a few minutes later, reminding me this is breaking news and I allegedly have a website dealing in that very perishable commodity.

And now I have a kid on my hands the rest of the week.

So that was my morning, part 1. Did I mention I’m going back to the gym with my still-tender knee, too? I am, and you can’t keep me here.

So I’ll be back later in the day. You kids find something to keep you occupied until then.

Posted at 9:48 am in Current events |

60 responses to “Snow Flu day.”

  1. Randy said on May 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

    A school in Brandon, Manitoba has identified the first case of it in our province, sometime during the past weekend. So far the school has not closed, and the student did not have to be hospitalized but is in a sort of quarantine until she recovers. But about a quarter of the parents have decided to keep their kids at home to be on the safe side.

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  2. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Aside from what H1N1 school-scares says about “children off the leash” (or doesn’t say) – here’s a total non-sequitur for you.

    The other day, I sat down in the conference room at work for a rare (for me) mid-day meeting – and right at that very moment, an exceedingly rare thing happened: my cell phone rang! If my phone rings, it’s either Pam or a wrong number, and in any case, I usually have it shut off.

    But it was on, and she was calling me back via cell phone – since I had called her owing to a black-out that had hit us (and was continuing at that moment). This was why I was going into a mid-day meeting – there was nothing else to do at that moment.

    But here’s the thing: my ring-tone is “Follow the Yellowbrick road” (“Follow follow follow – follow the yellow brick road; follow the yellowbrick, follow the yellowbrick, follow the yellowbrick road” etc – with the brassy punctuation, right from the movie). I fumbled with the thing, and got it shut off – which irritated Pam somewhat – and it got a good laugh out of my assembled colleagues….and it made me wonder about what others have for ring tones?

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  3. alex said on May 5, 2009 at 10:26 am

    Inna Gadda Da Vida.

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  4. Dorothy said on May 5, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Well Brian funny you should mention your ringtone. Since I have the name I have, my husband thought it would be hilarious to have “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” for a ring tone. And the same thing happened to him one day – I phoned him, and he was in a meeting. He forgot to put it on vibrate, and it amused the folks in the meeting to no end!

    I just have one of the default, boring ringtones from Verizon right now. But in the past my favorite was the theme song from the 60’s version of “Mission:Impossible”.

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  5. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Dorothy – marvelous! – you still have me laughing!!

    I can just imagine your husband affecting a deadpan delivery to his colleagues, as “Ding dong, the witch is dead” is exuberantly sung by the munchkin chorus, saying “Oh, it’s Dorothy”

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  6. Joe Kobiela said on May 5, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Just got a new phone, trying to decide between Peter Gunn or James bond.
    Guess I should try to find Sky King, since I fly a 310 like Sky did.
    Pilot Joe

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  7. Danny said on May 5, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I’m a basic ring tone guy, but the wife kinda styles with it. She might be putting the Tarzan holler on her phone for when I call and for one of our friends she has a clip of Chris Farley’s character, Matt Foley: Motivational Speaker saying, “Dad, I wish you would just shut your big, fat YAPPER!”

    I have toyed with the idea of some Hendrix.

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  8. Colleen said on May 5, 2009 at 11:08 am

    The default is a verizon ring. My husband is something Star Trekky, and work is Mission Impossible.

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  9. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Right now I have a cheesy tune I composed on the phone’s music program. It sounds like a soundtrack from a chase scene in a made for TV 70’s movie. For years I had Happy Birthday as a ringtone. I’m wanting the voice of Orson Welles doing that drunken Paul Masson commercial on YouTube. “Uh-Haaaah the French champagne…” Older son had “Here Comes the Bride” when he was in high school.

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  10. Sue said on May 5, 2009 at 11:13 am

    My sister’s ring tone is one of her sons saying (imagine impatient-son voice) “Mom! Answer the phone!”
    I believe I may have mentioned this one before. If your ring tone is “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, make sure you turn your phone off during funerals.

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  11. Danny said on May 5, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Hilarious, Sue.

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  12. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Hot babe.

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  13. Connie said on May 5, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I Heard it Through the Grapevine.

    A few weeks ago I was in Michigan, and of course listening to my fave radio station out of GR, WLAV. They played CCR’s long version of the song. Somewhere in the middle of the tune, my phone rang. For some reason it totally freaked me out.

    Read the Butler book some time ago thanks to Dorothy’s recommendation right here.

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  14. MichaelG said on May 5, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Mine rings like an old time phone.

    Joe, is your 310 called the Songbird? Got Penny with you?

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  15. paddyo' said on May 5, 2009 at 11:29 am

    And make sure there’s plenty of cowbell, Sue … you can never have enough cowbell.

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  16. paddyo' said on May 5, 2009 at 11:31 am

    “Out of the blue of the western sky comes SKYYYYYY KING!” …
    “Penny to Songbird … Come in, Uncle Sky …”

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  17. Sue said on May 5, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Connie, we always listen to The Bear when we’re vacationing in MI. I think they’re out of the UP; sometimes we can get it when we’re up in Northern WI, too. A very “summer vacation” kind of a station.

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  18. Julie Robinson said on May 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

    *snob alert*
    Ringtones are always out of tune in relation to each other and anything played on them hurts my ears. It’s the same reason I don’t watch American Idol. But I easily snap up such pedestrian fare as Broadway musicals and Dancing with the Stars.

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  19. Joe Kobiela said on May 5, 2009 at 11:43 am

    The company I work for has 9 310’s. There is a web sight called flightaware if you put in 1914g,98dm,403dm,or 3284m in the tail number section, a picture of that plane should pop up. If you want to see where Iam you can put gwb in the airport section and it will show departures and arrivals from that airport. I am usually in the 310 that fly’s out of there most times.
    Jimmy Buffet (who is a pilot) wrote pencil thin mustache, one of the lines is “I remember being buck tooth and skinny, writing fan letters to sky’s niece Penny”
    Pilot Joe

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  20. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

    You know Mary – I bet that babe IS hot! It looks like she just harvested those flowers by the bed – and her possibly “come hither” look might really be the onset of heat exhaustion –

    but as the great one used to say – “I’d hit it”

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  21. Danny said on May 5, 2009 at 11:49 am

    Jimmy Buffet (who is a pilot) wrote pencil thin mustache, one of the lines is “I remember being buck tooth and skinny, writing fan letters to sky’s niece Penny”

    Joe, I heard a story about a little girl who got dressed up to watch Speed Racer with her older brother … ‘cuz, you know .. she had a crush on Speed and wanted to be his girlfriend.

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  22. nancy said on May 5, 2009 at 11:50 am

    “I’d hit it” — I always find that comment amusing, given that among the men I’ve known, there is very very little that they wouldn’t hit. Even Rosie O’Donnell on a forehead-pimple day could find some guy, somewhere, who’d hit that.

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  23. Sue said on May 5, 2009 at 11:58 am

    An unexpected result of all this ring-tone discussion is going to be tunes through our heads all day. I was looping a cowbell-intensive “don’t fear the reaper” thanks to PaddyO and now I’ve got the words from Pencil Thin Mustache going. Not that I’m complaining – “Living and Dying in 3/4 Time” was one of Jimmy’s best albums. He’s so much more than parrots and coconut bras. Not that I’m complaining about that, either – how can you not love someone with an album called “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean”?

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  24. nancy said on May 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    It’s all been downhill for me and J. Buffet since “A Pirate Looks at Forty.”

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  25. moe99 said on May 5, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Ring tone: Bolero, by Ravel.

    Why not? Most folks have never seen 10.

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  26. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I’ve got the song from the Jack in the Box mini sirloin burgers commercial stuck in my head, so even Jimmy Buffet is an improvement.

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  27. Rana said on May 5, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    No fancy ringtones for me, because my phone won’t let me upload files to it unless I pay extra for access. The tone is a sort of series of rising chime-like sounds, one of the ones pre-programmed into it. (This phone also makes a musical tone each time a key is pressed.)

    My first cell had a wonderful feature in that you could program, note by note, your own ringtone. I had it set to play “Simple Gifts,” both because it’s a lovely tune, and because I liked the irony of it being played by such a (at the time) pretentious piece of tech.

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  28. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Not for nothin’, but do you realize how much stinkin’ money Jimmy Buffet is rolling in? I read he makes about $40,000,000 a year in licensing fees off that ‘Maragaritaville’ brand he’s built.

    We ate at an extremely average – and overpriced! – “Cheeseburger in Paradise” (or whatever) place (maybe in Indy? I forget)….

    I’ve never been overly impressed with him, and that restaurant worked really hard to be evocative of his laid-back, tropical vibe – which was also not terribly impressive.

    But – it must be workin’!

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  29. Rana said on May 5, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    moe99, your mentioning Bolero reminds me of a funny incident when I was in college. At the time we were living in an older house, and one of my housemates was “entertaining” some friends (yes, plural!) while I and another housemate were upstairs trying to study. The house was heated by central air, and the ducts were a perfect conduit for sound.

    Needless to say, it was challenging to focus on one’s homework while such enthusiastic, happy sounds were coming up through the grates, but we didn’t want to be total wet blankets about it either.

    So what did we do? We took a boombox and aimed it at the grate, and blasted Bolero at full volume into the ducts. It had the desired effect, as the noises stopped, and we went back to studying.

    Later we learned that this worked because our housemate had started laughing so hard when they heard the music that things could no longer, um, proceed.

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  30. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    Rana, I had one dorm room with very thin walls, and I always knew when my next door neighbor’s boyfriend was in town because I heard “Stairway to Heaven,” playing on her stereo. Amazingly, she always had an orgasm at the same point in the song.

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  31. Dorothy said on May 5, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    I LOVE Bolero, Moe! But since it starts out so quietly, I’m assuming the ring tone you have is cut from midpoint of the song, perhaps?

    And MichaelG @ 14 – there is a fax machine in my office (down in the Public Affairs department) that rings like an old time phone. I always feel like an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” is on when I hear that phone ring. I wanna pick up the handpiece and go “Hey there Aint Bea!”

    My hubby also downloaded the Ohio State fight song, and the Penn State fight song. That way when the kids would call him, he’d know who it was without even glancing at the caller ID. I could never tell one fight song from another, but please don’t tell my kids that.

    Alex I downloaded Inna Gadda Da Vida a couple of weeks ago for my iPod. Another oldie-but-goodie.

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  32. Joe Kobiela said on May 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    No knocks on Jimmy B please, I bought White sport coat I think in 1974-75 and saw him twice in Indy on the old clay tennis courts. That was back before he was Jimmy Buffett inc. I have read his books, Tales from Margaritaville is pretty good. He knows he has a good thing going and plays to his audience,where I would really like to hear him play would be acoustic in some small bar down in Gulf Shores Alabama. Sorry Nancy I really like Pirate looks at forty, well now fifty, and I also like Captain and the Kid.
    Pilot Joe

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  33. James said on May 5, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    I have a buncha different ringtones for specific callers.

    My general ring is “Brass Monkey” by the Beastie Boys. When my daughter calls, the ring is some urgent sting from the old Spiderman cartoon. My brother’s is a BBC news theme. My dad (he’s an ex-lawyer) is the theme from Perry Mason. My wife’s ring is the voice of a local NPR affiliate’s talent (Lois Reitze) saying “Rebecca Burns from Atlanta Magazine” (yeah, Rebecca does some radio stuff).

    Rebecca hates my rings.

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  34. alex said on May 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I’ve got Chaka Khan’s “Whatcha Gonna Do for Me?” rattling around in my head. It has been weeks. Ever since I watched a concert video online. It wakes me up at night. It’s really irritating. I used to love that song but I don’t now.

    Today taking the afternoon off and planting my newly expanded garden. It’s now 20 x 40′.

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  35. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    What’s a ring tone?

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  36. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Back in our thin-walled apartment days, a single fellow lived next door, and we apparently shared bedroom walls. His girlfirend would spend the night most Fridays, and we nicknamed her “the giggler” – she would giggle and giggle, and then cackle and laugh; but when that stopped….she transformed into the howler! Leaving the TV or stereo on really didn’t help much, once the howling stage was reached.

    ‘Course on the other hand, HE could have been the giggler, for all we knew…

    Alex – we’re still leery of the weather, before we get some flowers and so on going

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  37. Deborah said on May 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    I used to have a ring-tone that was a chicken clucking, that was from a different provider than I have now. If anyone knows how to get that ring-tone on my Verizon phone, let me know. I loved it.

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  38. Dexter said on May 5, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I don’t choose to use ringtones. I’ll explain. I used to have to call people several times a day from factory offices to try to get them to come in for emergency overtime, say if an electrician or machine repairman or forklift driver had a fukkitt day.
    The foreman would start calling on one phone and I on another phone , as I was the union steward.
    This was when people would let their small children babble a long message, half-unintelligible, followed by some inane tune…this took forever, then we would leave a message which was never returned in time to get the person his/her overtime. It was telephone-nonsense.
    My first few cell phones, yes, I used ringtones, but this last one, I returned to basics. It rings just like MichaelG’s phone must ring…like an old-time telephone. No more nonsense with phones for me.

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  39. Dorothy said on May 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Nancy does this mean school will be back in session tomorrow for Kate??

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  40. Sue said on May 5, 2009 at 3:15 pm

    Dexter, oh yeah, I have a special, cold, dark, evil spot in my heart for those kid-messages. No reasonable adult would ever do that, ever consider that cute or appealing, especially when the children speaking are so young that you can hear the parent coaching in the background – add at least an extra ten or fifteen seconds when that happens. Another fun message? The fake ones where the speaker pretends to answer the phone by saying hello and then pausing before continuing. Verrrrry funny and so clever.

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  41. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    They should sell the naming rights to these big epidemics, and tropical storms and hurricanes.

    “the ‘Two Buck Chuck’ flu outbreak continues apace, spreading across 24 nations” etc


    “The Oxy-Clean tropical storm gained strength today, and threatens to become Hurricane Oxy-Clean by midweek” – etc etc

    The newsies could one-up the sportos, and BE the sellers of the name, instead of the unpaid toadies that the sportos are!

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  42. Catherine said on May 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Re yesterday’s bagging on Cokie Roberts: Cokie rocks, and she’s using “interesting” as a code word for “fucked up,” which she’s too much of a lady to say. Go back and check that article now that you have the decoder ring. And back off my girl Cokie.

    On the road, sorry to be late to the party.

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  43. Dorothy said on May 5, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Brian at the newspaper where my daughter works, they’ve taken to calling the latest flu thing “Bacon Fever.”

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  44. Linda said on May 5, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    My cell is very vanilla, with a normal ring tone. My sister’s actually has different rings for different people that call frequently. When her husband calls, you hear “My Man.” When one of the kids calls, it’s a rap song. She has a Wiccan friend, and her ring tone is “I Put a Spell on You.” For the head of volunteers at a local cat shelter: “What’s New, Pussycat?” And if it’s an unidentified caller? “People are Strange.”

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  45. Scout said on May 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    My phone is always on vibrate and I usually don’t realize I got a call from somebody until days later; obviously I don’t have the thing so people can reach me, I have it for emergencies.

    However, a guy I used to work with had the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars programmed to play when his wife called. Every time she called he had to quick run outside to take the call because we were all laughing like hyenas. I recently heard they are no longer married.

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  46. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    You guys are hurtin’ me; this was altogether too funny! (Linda – your sister rocks! And Scout – Darth Vader?!)

    And I’m with Catherine on Cokie – but the hit piece was pretty funny.

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  47. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Catherine, I used to think that Cokie rocked but I think she’s been on auto pilot for a while. That’s just my opinion.

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  48. paddyo' said on May 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Dexter and Sue, ahh, yes, the unintelligible kid-talk greetings were the worst. Haven’t heard one in ages, though. I think most of them moved on once people began to switch to “voice messaging” sponsored by the phone company/carrier instead of those clunky tape-recorder dealies.

    And oh, how well I remember trying to be oh-so-clever with the custom greeting on my newfangled first answering machine, circa 1985 or so.
    I dug up ELO’s “Telephone Line” ( “give me some tiiime / I’m living in twiiii-hii-light”) and one or two other phone-theme songs, and played snippets in the background, fading in and out as I left my sorry-I’m-not-here-but-leave-a-message message. I think the damned thing ran about a minute long by the time I was done.

    So of course that greeting lasted exactly one day — along with my infatuation with this super-ultra-modern new device. What was I thinking? Well, I wasn’t …

    No ring tones here, just the factory-installed, closest-to-a-ringing-phone sound I could find. But I’ve got to admit, lots of good suggestions here today. I’m thinking I might have to put “White Punks On Dope” on my cell …

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  49. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    My friend Harry just has his answering machine say, “you know what to do.”

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  50. Dave K. said on May 5, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    “An Honest Message…”, I reached a friend’s answering machine yesterday, seriously needing to speak with him. His machine said, “Your call is somewhat important to us, you can leave a message if you’d like.” (He returned my call within the hour).

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  51. basset said on May 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I have a bad habit of drowning phones – run them through the washing machine, drop them in the toilet, go wade-fishing and forget to take them out of my pocket – so I carry a twenty-dollar Wal-Mart go-phone with my AT&T chip in it.

    It’s been with me long enough, though, for my free replacement to kick in, so if anyone has any AT&T recommendations, I’m listening. They have a couple with built-in video cameras, might try one of those.

    Exam week at the community college right now, so not much is happening in the tutoring room – couple more hours and I’m done for the summer.

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  52. brian stouder said on May 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    My father-in-law is a livestock hauler – mostly hogs – and he had a cell phone before it was a must-have for every Tom, Dick and Mary. I remember when he had a bag-phone, and the handset was connected to the main unit with a good old fashioned springy coiled phone cord.

    The unit must have weighed 30 pounds, and heavan only knows how expensive it was, but it made him available to his customers all the time, which was huge.

    Nowadays, he occasionally drops a phone into the ‘soup’ (don’t ask), whether in the trailer or at the sale barn or hog lots…and then it’s generally time to get another.

    For me, a WalMart go-phone is plenty enough, and my newest one wasn’t much north of $30, and it will take grainy pictures or shoot grainy video. If Anton from No Country for Old Men bet my life that I could tell what my phone number is, though, I’d be a dead man (even if he let me fool with the damned thing for 90 seconds in order to come up with it)

    My trick ring tone is entirely thanks to Pam and/or Grant and/or Shelby (they occasionally reconfigure things for me)

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  53. LA Mary said on May 5, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    basset, We have three Sony Ericsson – W760a of these in our house and I do not recommend them. They’re not terrible, but my son has had his replaced twice in three months.

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  54. basset said on May 5, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    that seems to be the consensus in AT&T’s user forums, they were talking about the W350 but I don’t imagine it’s too different.

    my younger co-workers are amazed that I have never sent a text message and don’t care to… and don’t use ringtones, I just leave it on vibrate.

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  55. Dexter said on May 5, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Lots of fun here reading about our goofy phones & answering machines of a bygone age…but post #44 should win the golden phone award-statuette…it had me rockin’-laughin’ ! The Wiccan leaves a ringtone of “I put a spell on you”—that was worthy of Erma “Emma” Bombeck. Emma has been gone 13 years now…just thinking of her puts a smile on.

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  56. Dorothy said on May 5, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    I agree with Dexter. I laughed out loud at “People are Strange”, and my son , who was out on the back porch with his dad, started laughing at the sound of ME laughing!

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  57. beb said on May 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Alex at 3: which part of Inna Gadda Da Vida do you use — the drum solo, the organ solo or the chorus? I think I’d use the organ solo.

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  58. CrazyCatLady said on May 6, 2009 at 12:58 am

    My cell has ‘American Idiot’ by Green Day for most people. I have the ‘Indiana Jones’ theme music for my hubby. My text ring is my daughters voice saying “Are you having fun? I’m having fun! Hellooo? Hello! Hello???” .

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  59. alex said on May 6, 2009 at 7:43 am

    Chorus, beb. Wish I could have gotten the organ solo.

    Got 48 tomato plants put in yesterday and have eight to go. And a dozen flats of other goodies are waiting. Also busy rigging a pressurized tank to draw water from the lake.

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  60. beb said on May 6, 2009 at 7:46 am

    Detroit throws out its mayor of six months for another guy whose term expires in six months. We have the worst electorate in the nation.

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