I still don't know what to do with the pizza guy

I had three goals when I became a homeowner:

I would install a secret passageway between the kitchen and the conservatory.

I would never become one of those old guys who spend half of their time complaining about how other people's dogs always poop in their yards.

I would create a series of progressively complex and potentially dangerous traps to thwart any attempted burglars in an improbable yet hilarious sequence of events that would make Rube Goldburg proud and that kid from Home Alone crap his pants out of jealousy.

So far I'm batting at about 500.

No go on number one. The fact that my house doesn't have a conservatory was kind of a kill joy on the whole project. At least I don't think we have one. I'll admit, I don't really know what a conservatory looks like out of the context of a murder investigation.

Other people's dogs do poop in my yard. Fortunately so far it's all been cover by snow so I really don't care. Plus I'm keep track of who's dogs does what so I can be sure to respond in kind once it gets warm enough to pull my pants down outside.

My video-game worthy security system is coming along, just not a quickly as I would like.

Part of it is my fault. I've taken on a couple extra projects like trying to lose weight and getting back into totem pole craving. Not to mention that I just learn that I have the travel channel. It's was hiding behind 40 channels of static, who knew.

But I refuse to take all the blame on this one. Just like the time in high school when I was found naked on a mini-golf course cowering behind the windmill, this isn't all my fault.

I've got to blame my wife a bit. She's normally all for home improvement projects when it involves replacing a shower head, cleaning rain gutters or painting elaborate Chinese characters on our walls, but try to cut some slits in the wall the crossbow bolts to shoot through and all of a sudden “You don't know what you're doing.”

Of course this recession hasn't helped matters at all. I've had to cut down in all sorts of areas. I can't afford to keep the oil at a boiling temperature so people who don't know the secret knock don't get scalded, they just get sticky.

Instead of tigers the pit under my the trap couch I have two angry raccoons a scary looking chicken.

Most disappointing is the fact I couldn't get a death ray to point at the back door and instead have to make do with a hair dryer.

But I'm soldiering on like a brave little toaster and I must admit that things are looking up. I've got too much left to do to get discouraged now. I've got springs to load, snares to set and poisonous snakes to position and poke until upset.

Home ownership, it's never done, but it's rewarding.

Now it you'll excuse me, it sounds like I may just have two raccoons now.

Steve Shinney is finally truly living the American Dream, he has a trap door that'll drop door to door sales men into fire. Comments, questions and request for special glasses that will let you see the trip wires for the next you come visit can be left below.

I'm just getting better

Is anyone else super stoked that it's February?

I know that it's not a cool month to like. The weather's still colder than a public school lunch system burrito and if you're not it a stable relationship the only cool holiday involves the entire country waiting around for an over-fed rat to tell what kind of pants to wear the next day.

This February however is off to a great start because I don't have to worry if my fly is up any more.

No, I haven't taken the plunge and switch over to sweats entirely (I have to wait 35 years or 200 pounds before I can do that). It's February 4th, which means by now, I can in good conscience forsake my New Year's resolution.

One of my New Year's resolutions this time around was to keep any and all cows from getting out. However it turns out that constantly being worried about the condition of my barn door is nothing but undue stress on bridge that probably should come down anyway before it hurts someone.

And really, let's be honest here, no one notices the 49 times that you remember to put your zipper in the full and upright locked position. It's the one time you don't that everyone decides your crotch is the thing they want to be looking at.

I'm not too worried about this though, for one, people have been surviving just fine with my fly down for years so it's not like it's going to hurt anyone.

Plus, there's plenty of other resolutions that I made at the start of this year (like my goal to eat big-boy cereal every morning) that I have kept just fine so far and it looks like I'll be able to make them a regular part of my life.

You see, I use the same strategy for self improvement as I do for putting band-aids on a flailing, oiley two-year old. Throw a bunch of them out there, and hope something sticks.

And sometimes things do. Despite what my mother may have said in her last Live Journal post, I really am a much better person than I was ten years ago. I think a lot of that can be traced back to the resolutions that I made and kept.

While I don't exercise everyday, I used to, and I still do more than the average American, and I'm healthier over all, which was the intent of the resolution so it counts.

I'm more accepting and tolerant of people whose lifestyle choices I don't agree with, like clowns or babies.

I'm no longer afraid of the vacuum.

I use mouth wash every single night.

I've done pretty good at writing this column or something else once a week.

I haven't de-pants a direct superior since '02.

I don't even remember the last time that I chased down a jr high kid, threw him in the mud, sat on his head and punched him until he peed.

Unfortunately not every resolution has gone as well as my pledge to eat more muffins.

The follow are some resolutions that I flopped on, like a fat kid trying to do a back flip.

No more making fun of fat kids.

I never really got the hang of flossing, although I think this is the white whale of resolutions. I'm pretty sure no one really uses floss, not even anal dentists (which is a really funny phrase).

I figure the only way that the floss manufactures stay is business is they also make that fake plastic grass you see around Easter, which is basically just really flat floss.

Learn the real name of the plastic table looking thing that comes in a box of pizza.

No more audibly farting at parties.

Turn into a mummy.

Come up with a new catch phrase.

Geek On.

Steve Shinney is working really hard on the resolution his wife gave him, but it just so hard to stay awake in church. Advice and encouragement can be left below.

The home depot guy what not sympathetic

Never in my life have I been more susceptible to ninja attacks than right now.

I recently moved into a house with a furnace, which is so constantly making noises that I no longer pay them any mind. If a ninja could learn to make furancy noises, (and I think we can all agree that they could) they would be able to walk right into my home and that would be the end of me.

I've never had this problem before. We got by on electric heat as a kid, and I don't remember it making too much noise. Although looking back every time it turned on my little brother would jump up to stand in front of it with his pants down.

It was kind of hard to hear anything over the screaming.