Monday, April 30, 2007

The Miracle of Children

[My Beautiful Wife has verified the following to be true and accurate]
Your Clothes:
1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don't bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn't do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn's clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby's little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can't they?

1st baby: At the first sign of distress--a whimper, a frown--you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.

1st baby: If the pacifier falls on the floor, you put it away until you can go home and wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby's bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it back in.

1st baby: You change your baby's diapers every hour, whether they need it or not.
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby: Just before you walk out the door, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood

At Home:
1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn't squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

Swallowing Coins (a favorite):
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin you deduct it from his allowance.


Friday, April 27, 2007

Remember Love... my beautiful wife.

Don't know if you'll read this but I wanted to tell you on your special day:

I know I drive you crazy sometimes and that sometimes you think I'm your 6th child (well, I am just a big kid) but I want to make sure you know this...

...I love you.

I loved you the first moment I saw you and every day I love you more. Every day I thank God you're in my life. I've always been honored and very proud to say you're my wife and a little puzzled that someone as wonderful and beautiful as you would want to spend her life with a 'beast' like me.

Many men have wives that want to take and want to be put on pedestals and worshiped and have gifts laid at their feet. With you it's always been the opposite. You never want recognition for anything you do. You never want anything for yourself. All you do is me, to your children, to everyone you meet. You give your time, your love, everything you have, your very life itself.

Sometimes you drive me crazy because you won't let me give to you. Well, today you'll have to listen and accept a little praise and adoration, no matter how much you don't like it. Remember these words? They still mean as much now as they did when we first heard them:

For all my life and forever
There's a truth I'll always know
When my world divides and shatters
Your love is where I'll go.

You have been my strength and the one here on earth that I looked to as an anchor in rough times. If I didn't have you I don't know how I would have survived.
I am your prisoner...

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously) her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

Always remember...I love you

Happy Birthday!


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Just Ride...with wings.

After my cycling post I realized that I've never posted a picture of the motor cycle:

Not bad for almost 30 years old: 1978 Honda CB-750K, Vetter Windjammer SS faring with lowers, about 12,000 miles. When I bought it I had to have the carburetors rebuilt because it had been setting for several years with little use. When I replaced the exhaust I had to take off the Calafia saddle bags and tail trunk. Even though the brands were mixed the fairing and saddle bags matched really well . If anyone is interested in the saddle bags, tail trunk or sissy bar let me know. I have all the mounts & they should fit most Hondas from the mid-70's to about '80. My daughter says she likes it better this way, though. Says it doesn't look like an 'old man's' bike now. Kids...

Some day I might try to get something a little newer that I would feel ok traveling across country on...a Honda or Yamaha V-Twin or maybe a good sports bike like Brent's over at Cruizer's World. Good used ones can be had in the 4-8K range. I just can't see paying 2-3 times that for a Harley just to have a name on the side. This one has been very reliable over the last couple of years but parts are a little hard to come by now. When I talked about rigging up a rack so I could carry my bicycle to Arizona for the El Tour de Tucson in November my Beautiful Wife dropped the hammer and said NO.

I've really enjoyed this one since I've had it. It's my ride to and from work, church and for runs around town. I get about 35 mpg in the city and it only costs $120 a YEAR for INSURANCE!! I may never buy another car!


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Who let the lawyers out...

Being a former Baylor student I, along with my counterparts at Texas Tech and The University of Texas, am a big fan of Aggie Jokes. My Beautiful Wife sent me this list of actual label instructions on consumer goods. I couldn't help but think that these were either written by or for Aggies:

On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping.

On a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.

On a bar of Dial soap -- "Directions: Use like regular soap."

On some Swanson frozen dinners -- "Serving suggestion: Defrost."

On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) --"Do not turn upside down."

On a box of Swingline staples --"Caution: Staples have sharp points"

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating."

On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."

On Boot's Children's Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."

On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness."

On most brands of Christmas lights -- "For indoor or outdoor use only."

On a Japanese food processor -- "Not to be used for the other use."

On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts."

On an American Airlines packet of nuts --"Instructions: Open packet, eat nuts."

On a child's Superman costume -- "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."

(And the best for last)
On a Swedish Chainsaw -- "Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands or genitals."


Friday, April 20, 2007

"I'm tryin' to think but nuthin happens..."

Tag, I'm it. Laura was nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award by two of her readers. She asked us here to name 5 blogs that make us think. This originated from the Thinking Blogger site. I'll be glad to do that and to tell WHY they make me think. I have all of these on an RSS feed on my Yahoo home page and read them daily.

  1. I found Laura through her comments on Russ's and Jeremy's blogs. I noticed her thoughts paralleled mine so I checked her out and found a very talented young woman who had her feet firmly planted on the ground, loves here husband, her job, and her friends. Kinda' hard not to love her too. She has a way of taking daily life and making it magical. I can't wait to get the latest update on the happenings in her world, whether it's 'what's for dinner', something about programing, travel, or setting the record straight on the stuff that goes on in our crazy world.

  2. What can I say about Allison. She has the most unbelievable outlook on life. Sometimes I 'be weep my outcast state' yet, I see someone here who probably had more reason than all of us put together to complain and she just keeps on going, taking life by the horns and not putting up with it's crap. No one can make a cup of coffee or tea any more exciting than she can. I admire her faith and the love her family has for each other.

  3. Dave over at Better Living Though Blogging and I see eye to eye on every issue...except one: the issue of faith. Dave is an atheist. In my day to day physical world I, like most people, tend to associate with people who think and believe the same way I do. However, in the virtual world sometimes we find out after getting to know someone through their work that there are some differences. I began reading Dave just before he moved from San Antonio (near my neck of the woods) to--pardon the term--God's country. Montana. I am a sucker for anything Montana. Dave swept me away with his enthusiasm as he gushed about his beautiful world. But I have learned that in addition to Montana Dave loves his family and cares deeply for his friends and the community he lives in. He has made me realize what a shame it is to stay in your own little huddle. Heck, Jesus even told us we were supposed to go to the ends of the earth, be salt and light and not JUST hang with those like us.

  4. I started reading Jeremy after I read a comment he left on Alison's site. Something about Google maps and area 51. I knew then that here was a blog I needed to check out. When I saw that he lived in Tucson, where my closest living relatives are, and that he worked in a cubicle jungle like I had-the one that was a live saving career change for me-I was hooked. Where he comes up with the vast storehouse of information he posts I'll never know. He knows more about our fleet of Navy Super Carriers than anyone. Also, in Jeremy I found one who loathes the cowboys as much as I do, although for different reasons. I can always count on Jeremy to present a WIDE range of subjects...never a dull moment. I often find myself saying 'gee, I didn't know that' or 'I never looked at it like that before' after finishing one of his posts. His series on Cubicle Culture is priceless. Besides, I like his color scheme.

  5. Russ is a good friend of Allison. They went to college together. He also has the best initials I've ever seen: R.A.D. His Essays and his Filth McCreery series are must reads. I'm just waiting. Someday soon the 'powers that be' who tell us what's funny in print and pictures (NOT) are going to discover Russ. Then you will be able to buy his books and watch his movies and TV shows. His stuff is better than most of the garbage we're forced to watch now. When that day comes I'll proudly say 'I know that guy! I've been reading him for years!'. Besides, Russ lives in Denver. That's next to the mountains and almost to Montana so it has to be good. Another thing I admire about Russ is his courage. He's not afraid to take on any subject or to speak what's on his mind. At the same time he's compassionate and understanding.
Even though I've never met any of them face to face I consider Laura, Allison, Dave, Jeremy and Russ among my dearest friends. They have enriched my life and taught me many things I would otherwise be ignorant to. I hope they continue to share of themselves...after all, that's the most wonderful gift you can give!

BY THE WAY: The 5 of you consider yourselves nominated and tagged...except Laura of course.


"Mighty whities" revisited...

Received this from my brother-in-law Skip. Thanks, Skip, for pointing this out. For too long the world has turned it's head to those with a plank in their eye and shined a light on those with a speck in theirs:

Don Imus was fired for calling the Rutgers University basketball team "nappy headed hos". Sure, that was inappropriate, but did the punishment fit the crime? Maybe we should look at the two guys who pushed this issue until Imus was fired.

Jesse Jackson says it's a question of morality, and what's right and what's wrong.

Just so we're clear:
Imus Calling Black Women "nappy headed hos": Wrong

Jesse Jackson calling Jews "Hymies" and referring to New York as "Hymietown" : Right
(Washington Post, 1984)

Calling Black Women "nappy headed hos": Wrong

Jesse Jackson having an affair and Impregnating Karin Stanford, then using rainbow coalition funds to pay her $40,000 and purchasing a $365,000 house to keep her quiet:

Jesse Jackson not paying child support for this child, and not visiting her:

Jesse Jackson Saying Duke La Crosse Rape Suspects who have been acquitted "deserved the negative attention" because they weren't acting morally by hiring a stripper: Right

I'm glad we have someone with strong moral values like Jesse Jackson to make sure nobody makes racist jokes on radio stations!

Thanks for showing us what's right and what's wrong Jesse.

And who can forget Al Sharpton, another strong moral figure who knows the power of words: After District Attorney Steven Pagones failed to prosecute white suspects for raping a black girl (because evidence showed the story was fabricated) Al Sharpton accused Pagones Himself of raping the girl. Pagones successfully sued him for Defamation.

But it gets better:
Imus Calling Black Women "nappy headed hos": Wrong

In 1995, Sharpton led a protest in Harlem against the plans of Freddy's Fashion Mart, a Jewish-owned clothing store, to expand into a black neighborhood. Sharpton told the protesters, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business." Three months later, an armed protester forcibly entered the store and burned it down, killing himself and seven others.

Thanks Jesse and Al for showing us what's right and wrong. I'm glad we can finally see the light now. I'm glad you guys stopped this guy, and all his charities for sick and homeless children, that will now dry up. Thanks guys!

It's men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton who give Christianity in general and Ministers in particular a bad name as they profess to be men of God by taking the title while denying Him with their actions. That's what an unbelieving world finds simply unbelievable.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Just ongoing ride report

Been back riding the last 5 weeks or so. It feels GOOD. Been doing about 45 minutes to an hour each ride (I won't embarrass myself by telling you my average speed). Or, if I can't ride, I'll do the same time spinning at the club. I like going on the road...much more interesting. So far the results have been encouraging: weight is down, lung capacity is way up, heart feels strong.

I have written about cycling a few times before but it occurred to me I've never talked about the equipment. I have 3 road bikes and a mountain bike, all Treks. My favorite is actually a cyclocross bike, a 24-speed Trek XO1. It has a little bit beefier frame, slightly more upright riding position and can take mountain bike tires or road tires. I have mine set up for the road:

The tires are Specialized Armadillos. They are almost flat proof. I don't like the way the bar tape gets nasty over time plus the road vibrations from our *wonderful* streets will beat you up after a while so I borrowed from my wife's horse stuff: I do an under wrap of gauze strip until I have a half inch cushion then do an over wrap with Vet-Wrap (same stuff they put on you when you give blood except this stuff is way cheaper). The Vet-Wrap comes in a rainbow of colors and when it gets ratty I can change it out in about 5 minutes, saving the expensive bar tape underneath. The head/tail light combo is from CatEye. The headlight is a blinding LED. It's saved my bacon more than once. I like the rear view mirror I added last year to the end of the bar drop on the left...perfect view and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. The Shimano peddles let me use either cleats or flip it and use regular shoes.

There is one other essential piece of equipment:

I won't leave home without my MP3 player. I love my iRiver. Had it going on 3 years now. I know there are higher capacity and more fashionable players out there but this one gives me about 3 hours of music and 12 hours on 1 AA battery. Plus, it's tough as nails (try dropping your iPod on the ground and running over it with your back wheel and see what happens).

Took off and rode around my end of town for a little over an hour. I'm trying to build up leg and 'seat' endurance. Felt fine. The weather was perfect...68 and no wind. I just wish you didn't have to go 40 miles minimum in any direction to get out of the city. Everyone has this image of Texas as wide open spaces...not around here. It's like living in New York except the traffic is worse...instead of Yankee drivers you have a bunch of red-necks in land yachts that don't pay attention to their driving. Usually my rides are pleasant as long as I stick to the side streets. So far we don't have bike lanes like some of the other more enlightened cities do.

On May 19 there is a bike ride that starts at Texas Motor Speedway. You start the ride by making a lap around the track. I'm shooting to do the 30 miler. My goal for later this year is to try to do the 80 mile route at the El Tour de Tucson in late November. I hear Arizona's nice that time of year! I did 70 miles a couple of years ago at a local ride. My ultimate goal is to do a century: 100 miles in a day.

In the meantime I'm just thankful to be out riding again.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

In remeberence of income tax day yesterday...

This sounded funny at first...then I remembered the huge check I sent Uncle Sam and realized how true it was:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table
At which he's fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries, then
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won't be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers,
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He's good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he's laid.

Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom..."

When he's gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Sales Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and
Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage
Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Many if not all of these taxes did not exist 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom was able to stay home to raise the kids.

What happened? Can you spell "politicians!"

And I still have to "press 1" for English.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Deadly Mistake...



I'm growing!!!


For Laura

Laura said she liked seeing black cats so, here ya go

Maximus: my friend, buddy and near-constant companion when I'm home

Max is a most unique and very intelligent guy. We have 3 boys and 2 girls: Max, his brother Taz Man, his cousin Wild Man (guess how they got their names), Red-a feisty little red tiger who don't' take crap off no one and her scardy-cat sister Jazmin, an adorable little calico who's scared of her own shadow.

While the other 4 live up to their names somewhat Max is the thinker of the bunch. One day when they were all still kittens I was in the kitchen. I heard what sounded like water somewhere. I thought it sounded like someone going to the bathroom but I was home alone. I went to the small bath off the kitchen and there was Max squatting on the seat doing his business in the toilet. He gave me a 'Dude, do you mind?!?' look so I left him alone. Who knew all those times when he watched he was taking notes. If only the dog was that easy to house break...


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

To all the 'mighty whities'

All you honkys and crackers are nothing but dumb towheaded nerds. You have no physical coordination and are only good at business, but that's because all of you keep the other races and nationalities out. You aren't cool, can't be cool, and don't know how to dress. You and you're pasty vanilla skin look stupid. You are a sub class of human. Don't you dare date or marry anyone outside you're race or something bad will happen to you. I don't like you because you're white.

If Al Sharpton, Vicente Fox, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Kim Jong-il say or hint at the above in one form or another I guess that makes it OK.

...the sword cuts both ways, people. If it's bad for one group to do it to another it's bad for all groups to do it to each other. Reminds me of the fights I've mediated between my children: someone-no one knows or remembers who-starts it and it goes back and forth escalating each time. Rodney King had the right question: "Can't we all just get along?"

[I've been told I'm asking for trouble posting this because there are people from all groups who can only see things from their point of view. I try real hard to keep it light here but this time I just had to point out that even though we can find deep fault and wrong on the one side that no side is innocent of making careless remarks. YOU CAN'T MAKE A BLANKET STATEMENT ABOUT ANY GROUP! WE ARE ALL TOO UNIQUE! THERE ARE TOO MANY GOOD PEOPLE IN THE WORLD TO TRY TO PAINT WITH A BROAD BRUSH!]

Ultimately I guess it's better to be a sharp shooter and hit the target than it is to lob grenades and use shot guns and hurt everyone around you.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

One of the funnest nights I've ever had...

Any of you who are fans of the show 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' are familiar with these 2 guys:

Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood

This past January they were in Ft. Worth for a 1 night improv show. I took my wife & daughter and her boyfriend. I cannot remember ever laughing so much or so hard in my entire life. The routines were similar to the TV show...but much more hilarious and uncensored. I almost ruptured a spleen during the 'Substitute Letter' routine...where they have to subtitute one letter for another as they make up dialog for a scene. For this one they had to substitute a 'P' for every 'S'. You figure it out...unbelievably funny.

Colin has a neat website. Here's the site for their improv show and their tour schedule. They have video clips of some of their routines. If they (or Drew Cary's Improv Allstars for that matter) are ever in your area spend an evening laughing your head off.


I present to you...

The cutest puppy in the world:

We welcome 'Sir Bruce' to our family.