Friday, September 29, 2006

A Wonderful Opportunity

Do you know this man?

Are you familiar with what he stands for?

Have you ever heard him speak?

Whether you know who he is or not, this weekend you have the opportunity to hear him speak, along with many of his colleagues.

Who is he?

His name is Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A living Prophet of God.

Starting at 10:00am Mountain Time Saturday morning, the General Conference of the Church will commence.

If you do not have access to the Conference via cable, T.V., or radio, you can go to the internet at www.lds.org and listen to the live stream.

Have you ever heard a living prophet speak? Here's your chance.

Here is the schedule of meetings: All times are Mountain time.

Saturday morning session: 10:am-12:00am
Saturday afternoon session: 2:00pm-4:00pm

Sunday morning session: 10:00am-12:00am
Sunday afternoon session: 2:00pm-4:00pm

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Them Stuffs Wots Important

Over the past couple days, I have had the opportunity to spend some good quality time with the Bear.

Our usual pastime is a several-hour jaunt through pixel-land on the computer. The past two nights, however, the Bear and I have sought other modes of entertainment and have quite enjoyed ourselves.

We have played a game where we both have a handheld net about the size of a ping-pong paddle, and we toss a foam ball to each other, trying to catch it in the net. We are both laughing most of the time, because of the other one looking silly trying to catch the ball.

That starts out mildly enough, but after awhile the Bear gets a little wild with his throws, and the foam ball visits all sorts of nooks and crannies in our home. One time, the ball ended up in a tough spot for him to get to, but he happened upon a golf ball, and was about to hurl that at me. I stopped him before it launched.

We have also been working on his "homework" together, which consists of him learning to write numbers, letters, and his name. He is doing great, but his attention span is quite short, so sometimes homework takes awhile.

I have noticed that from this time I have spent with him these last two days, that my love for the little guy has grown tremendously. He is such a good kid, and has a great big heart. I sometimes call him over, and have to give him a big ol' daddy bear hug.

It is so easy for me to get tunnel-vision in regards to working on my business, writing, etc. and I often overlook more important things like this.

My office is next to his room, but for the last several weeks, he has been sleeping on the bed behind me, which is for his brother to use when he comes to visit. He falls asleep while I am on the computer, and I love to sit and watch him sleep. He brings a smile to my face even then. Although his personal challenges frequently become ours as well, these shining moments of happiness and love far outweigh the other stuff.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Traveling Light


The Bear has been running around the last little while looking for small items that will fit inside his Mr. Potato Head body.

After a bit, I asked him why he was putting things in there.

"I'm pretending I'm getting ready to go someplace, and I have to pack my stuff."

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Inside The Mind of a Child

The Bear and I had another odd conversation yesterday.

"Daddy, we turn into skeletons if we don't eat."

"Uh... I suppose we do."

"What will Jesus do?"

"Huh?"

"Will Jesus eat my brain?"

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Talk Like a Bilge-Rat




ARRRR! It be Pirate talkin' day!

Go here and do yer worst! ARRRRR!

Addendum:

As is usually the case when I doctor myself up like this, others want in.

So feast your eyes and mock at will.

















DramaMama the Pirate Wench















The Flogging Boss














Captain Bess Cash (Bessie for short)














Mad Wendy better known as "Emmy"



























Jennifer the "ARRRRRRRchitect"










Eyeballs Implanted
in Another Man's Face

Shane.

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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunkist Old Guy - My Trip to Flagstaff



Yesterday, DramaMama and I were chaperones for the high school marching band road trip to Flagstaff where they participated in a multi-high school band performance alongside the Northern Arizona University Band during halftime at the football game with Dixie State College.

Our day began at the wee morning time of 2:45am. We were instructed to be at the high school by 3:30am to assist in loading the huge trailer with band instruments and other necessities.

At 3:15 I woke up the Large Drummer Boy. His reponse was less than coherent. I finished getting ready, then at 3:30 when we should have already been at the school, I went to check on him again. He was still asleep. We made it to the school by 3:45. We found out that everyone else was told to be there at 4:00.

The trailer was loaded, and we waited for the buses to arrive, and waited... We were all under the impression that we would have a nice touring bus, but this illusion was squarshed when two many-wheeled twinkies pulled into the parking lot. One of the band members pointed out later that everyone on board was white, so we were the cream filling. This kid was called "Frenchy", but we'll get to him later. We were assigned to be in charge of the second bus.

DramaMama suggested that I get on board our bus and score the front seat so we could have some leg room. yeah right. I soon discovered why certain of my body parts were never designed to interact with each other. I got back out but staked out our "claim" with DramaMama's bag/my man bag because I carried it a lot.

As the trailer was loading we discovered quickly which of the students were most likely to make us insane and pitch them out the window Napolean Dynamite style. There was one kid, whom I will refer to as "Stick Boy", that came off particularly annoying. Both DramaMama and I prayed that he was on the other bus, and it turned out he was. He was about 6'2" and looked to weigh no more than 50 pounds. What he lacked in girth he made up for in volume and irritation. I imagine if we put a pointed hat on him, that a giant could use him for a toothpick.

This bus was hardly designed for highschool kids, let alone big ol' me. Finally all of the band members were crammed into the bus, and I reinserted my knee into my nasal passage. DramaMama was over the wheel well which required that I scoot over to allow her a spot for her feet. My left knee was crammed deep into the partition between us and the bus driver, my right cheek was unsupported and in perfect aiming position to blast offending youngsters, and my right leg was sticking straight out in the aisle.

We finally got underway somewhere around 4:45am. We were hardly out of Phoenix when reports came forward that Gilbert was gonna hurl. We radioed the lead bus with no response. "Gilbert really needs to stop." We passed back the garbage can. "Come in Lead bus, we have a sick kid."

Finally they responded, and we made it to a gas station where everyone piled out and made a toidy run, Gilbert in the lead. Several of them were already feeling ill from motion sickness.

20 minutes later we were rolling again. We soon discovered the bus driver was still single, so DramaMama set to work lining him up with my niece.

All-in-all, the kids were pretty well behaved. The seasoned band boosters threatened to send back the "big guy" (me) if they misbehaved. Apparently that worked.

Soon, "Frenchy" who was sitting right behind us, made himself known. This kid was a crack-up. His buddy was talking about oysters, and DramaMama started chuckling. "I think he's talking about 'Rocky Mountain Oysters'."

"There's no such thing!" Frenchy said.

"Oh yes there is!"

"What are they then?"

whisper whisper whisper

"AWWWWWW! I'm gonna throw up!"

I turned around, "Aim at him!"

Then we ruthlessly regaled Frenchy with one-liners related to these Rocky Mountain Oysters to egg on this new found nausea.

"I hear they are kind of chewy."

"AWWWWWWWW! I'm gonna hurl!"

"Kind of like a superball."

"AWWW Stop it!"

"Wouldn't you just love to be the guy that harvests those?"

"How do they do it?"

"They wrapped a rubber band around them, they die and fall off."

DramaMama turned to me, "Oh that's sick!"

"I'm serious, that's how they get rid of them."

"You were serious? AWWWWWW!"

Meanwhile the single bus driver is looking at us in the rear view laughing.

A little while later we passed a herd of cattle.

"LOOK! An oyster farm!" It was Frenchy.

We stopped for a restroom break at Camp Verde. I was in charge of counting heads. We had 46 kids on our bus by the way. Several of the kids got drinks. Once we were back on the bus, spent drink cups and other trash began being passed forward to throw away. After awhile Steve, the bus driver got on the squawk-box and told them to hang on to any more trash, because the can was full. Not having anywhere else to put their drink, one of them set it in the over head rack.

Somewhere down the road, said drink toppled. We discovered this because all of the sudden Frenchy yelled. "AWWWWW!" One of the seasoned band boosters said, its only condensation from the air conditioning. "AWWWW it got me right in the crotch." You can imagine the response that got. DramaMama was having a good laugh when all of the sudden Steve applied the brakes and "AWWWWW! I'm getting rained on." I grabbed a cup from the garbage and yelled, "The bus is peeing on us!"

Steve grabbed a towel and it was passed back and forth from DramaMama and Frenchy depending on whether the bus sped up or slowed. Someone finally discovered the offending drink cup in the rack and removed it.

We soon discovered that Steve was trained by Nascar as he pulled up behind a big rig travelling fast, a vehicle passed us on the left, and just before we hit, he swerved left.

"Yes!" I hollered, "That was awesome!"

Meanwhile the female seasoned band boosters (one of which was also a bus driver) were freaking out. "STEVE!" Steve just chuckled. I liked Steve.

At last we pulled into Flagstaff right on time. At one intersection, we made a turn, and there was a girl standing there. Steve honked at her. "I know her!"

Once we found a place to park, everyone got out and headed to the breakfast provided by Toys for Tots. Then they got ready for the parade. Drummer Boy's real dad showed up looking like a homeless man. Hair down the to the middle of his back and a long scraggly beard. If he hadn't been with his new wife, we may not have recognized him. We later found out that he was acting in an independent film and was playing... a homeless guy.

The parade was short, but good. the NAU band led the way followed by the 11 high school bands in alphabetical order. Our band (Red Mountain High School Marching Pride) looked very sharp. At the end of the parade, all of the bands met and one band at a time performed a song or two. At the end of this, they all played together. It was pretty cool.

We had some free time after that for lunch so we wandered around to some of the booths that were set up in the park. We got some Navajo Indian Fry Bread. MMMMM! I got honey all over me.

At 1:00 we piled into the buses and headed for the Snow Dome at NAU. In the parking lot there, we were tormented by the worst band in the group continually playing the same song over and over and over. The sousaphone player was the most annoying, because his instrument was tuned too sharp. Our band leader was about ready to smack him. "Press the right valve!" He got on our buses and made it crystal clear that our students were not to add to the caucaphony of noise out there. "DO NOT PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENTS!"

They obeyed and got all ready to go. During our wait to go inside, we were entertained by some college students being college students. There was about 5 guys up on a hill, one of which had on a bright red helmet. We could see another of them holding a video camera. Then out came a red Target shopping cart. Many of our students began cheering them on. On the first run, he got part way down and crashed in the grass off the side. Uproar from the parking lot.

Up the hill he went again, higher this time. He went for it. He was cruising, farther and farther... then someone stuck a tree in his path and POW! he rolled over and splatted on the ground. He lay there for several minutes, his buddies gathered around him, then he jumped up and pumped his arm in the air, reminiscent of Evel Knievel. A huge cheer rose from the parking lot. They all headed off up the hill. The cart, which we assumed to be broken, was left down in the gorge where it fell.

Finally, one band and one section at a time we were led into the Snow Dome. The bands were seated right in the middle of the stands, we were clear on the side by the end zone.

At 3:00 the game started, and what an odd start it was. Dixie State College kicked off, the NAU player ran it back for a touch down. NAU kicked off, they downed it in the end zone. First play from scrimmage, DSC passed and scored. DSC kicked off. 4 plays, 3 kickoffs, 2 touchdowns, in less than 1 minute.

From there NAU took over and dominated the game. Within a couple minutes, NAU intercepted a DSC pass and ran it in. By half time the score was something like 49 to 14. Of course everytime NAU scored, the band was required to play the NAU Fight Song. We got rather well acquainted with that tune. Remember that there were 12 bands participating in all of the music during the game. The drum beats shook your innards.

At half time, the NAU band took the field and played a few pieces. They were nothing short of fantastic. Their sound was gorgeous. I was very impressed. The 11 high school bands joined them and played two songs. Then all of them sprinted to the end of the field. You know, I dont think I would run while wearing a sousaphone!

The game finally ended in the gang spanking of the DSC team, 66 to 14.

At the end of the game, the NAU team grouped in front of the NUA band who played for them. It was actually quite moving. The music was fabulous and the two groups, the players and the band showed each other respect, it was amazing. Did I say I was impressed with the NAU band?

We finally made our way to the buses, one of which was not there. Some bonehead had parked his truck in from of the hitch to our trailer, so we couldn't hook the truck up to it. Finally the other bus arrived with Steve in tow, and he was able to move our bus so that the truck could angle in to the hitch. Just as we were about to pull out, the truck owner arrived, and yelled at US. Whatever.

The trip home was long and mostly uneventful, except for the spilled drink that ran down the length of the aisle making it nice and sticky. Oh and as we were pulling out of the NAU campus, Steve saw a girl at a different corner, opened his window and asked what her name was.

We unloaded the buses and the trailer, then went on our way. We arrived home at 11:00pm. A rather LONG, but very enjoyable day. It really felt good to escape and think about new things for awhile.

Now to the title of this blog:

I live in Mesa, Arizona where the temperatures lately have been in the low hundreds. You might expect that I would have issues with sunburn or at least a tan. Nope. I went up into the mountains of Flagstaff where it was easily 25+ degrees cooler and got baked like a Lays chip.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Speaking of Arse's

Unreasonable: Adj. CheezWeezil's boss

Let me set the scene for you. CheezWeezil has already spent the bulk of the day eye-ball deep in work goo, skipping half of lunch to get stuff done.

Senor Boss creature arrives at 4:40 and asks me if a political candidate has given the information we need for his website.

"uh... no."

He leaves my office.

A minute later he is back and he tells me that we will be building a website and it needs to be up in the next few minutes, because the client is trying to see it.

"Oh, really?" CheezWeezil says. "Do you have any content for me?"

"They are saving it for you."

Then he shows me the mailer that the new site is to be patterned from.

A few minutes later he hands me his cell phone. It is the client. The boss tells me to ask for whatever I need to get the site up. By the way, he has already told the client that we have the site done, and all we need is this info to get it launched. He told them that before I had even heard I would be building the website. SHEESH!

I set to work with no content, and a very vague description of what was wanted for the site. About 20 minutes later, I am still waiting for images, but have a format setup. Finally some images arrive, but wonder of wonders, they aren't the ones I need.

Another ten minutes passes until I finally get the right images. I go into hyper-drive and slam out 3 pages based on the mailer I was shown.

At about 5:20 I was wrapping up, and the boss walked by. I called him in to look at what I had.

"That's all you have?" he asked. "We've been telling him what great things we can do. That's not very great."

"And I haven't had very much time to work on it either." I replied.

I flipped through the pages.

He had me add another panel from the mailer which took about 10 minutes. I uploaded that and went home fuming.

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Monday, September 11, 2006

A Proud Moment in a Father's Life



I just got off the phone with my 12-year old, more commonly known in blogland as the Bug. He told me that he was on TV a couple days ago.

I asked him what for, and he said that he entered a smelly sneaker contest and took 3rd place.

He comes from a long line of ripe tootsies. My brother "Big Foot" sports size 13 EEE boats that can kill at 50 paces. One summer he was in our travel trailer on a hot day, and I walked in and got knocked on my butt by the wave of funk that blew out the door.

So imagine my pride in discovering the ongoing tradition of putrid and rancid shoes in my son.

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Another meme pokes me in the arse

This one came by way of my sister the Domestic Goddess.

1. If you make sweet tea, or your favorite style, do you use Luzianne, Lipton or something else?

I don't drink tea. I have when very nauseous taken chamomile tea which settled my innards down.

2. What brand of toilet paper do you buy and is it the larger rolls or regular?
2 ply, gotta be 2 ply. That 1 ply crap takes a whole roll to do the job. Double rolls by Cottenelle are the wipe of choice.

3. Which brand of bath soap do you use?
Usually Dove for that baby's butt softness. I hate orange soap, it scums up the tub and shower.

4. What cereal do you buy for yourself?
When I actually eat breakfast, my favorite cereals are Cheerios and Wheaties. I enjoy Life as well.

5. What brand of dishwasher detergent do you use? Liquid or tablets?
What's that? LOL
We use liquid.

6. What's your favorite fruit?
That depends. Off the tree fresh, I like apples. I usually dont eat pears unless they are already sliced and preserved or rock hard green. I love peaches with cottage cheese. Bananas, oranges.

8. Do you like chocolate?
In small doses. I love brownies though. Back up the brownie truck and let the pounds pile on!

9. Are you right or left-handed?
right, but I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous!

10. Do you still write checks or use a debit card?
I use the card whenever possible. I hate checks because the bank saves them up and posts them all the same day which is usually right before you get paid and dont have enough money, then they nail you with fees. Did I mention I hate checks?

As an experienced meme-er, I have decided not to pass them along. You are of course free to tag yourself and share your inner most thoughts and feelings with us.
Make sure you tag my sister! :)

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Sunday, September 03, 2006

My trip to Wal-Mart by CheezWeezil

Not a title for a novel by any stretch, but hey... this is a blog.

DramaMama has been fighting a nasty yuck-fest being sick, so I went to the store and took the Bear with me. Up until now, he has been relatively easy to shop with, but he is moving into the the phase where everything he sees he wants.

We had a list reminiscent of Santa's of items I needed to get. It quickly became a packing and stacking experiment to see if we could make it with only a single cart. The Bear soon became fixed in his position with groceries piled all around. There was a mysterious "CLEAN UP ON AISLE 5!" call, but we won't go into that.

As is usually the case, the most important items on the list either were not in stock, or required government clearance to purchase, so we bought other stuff instead. So by the time the Bear was just eyeballs and a suit made of frozen Hungry Man dinners, we made our way to the checkout. For some reason there appeared to be two choices: The hundred mile long line or self-checkout.

"I'm not going to self check all this crap!" I said to noone listening.

Then I noticed that there were actually two checkers fed by the same line, but most of the people hadn't spotted the second one who was cleverly hidden behind a large pile of groceries.

Whistling a nonchalant tune, I moved to the second checkout station, with only one person in line in front of me. I soon realized why the items I needed weren't in stock. This lady had her own 18-wheeler backed up to the front doors of Wal-Mart to take her haul home. "That'll be 4 million, eight hundred thousand, five hundred and eight six dollars and eleven cents please dear."

News crews were everywhere filming this unprecedented volume of grocery items. Okay, so I'm exaggerating, sue me.

Anyway, it finally came to be our turn, all of our stuff taking up the entire span of the moving belt. Everything was going fine until about half-way through I realized the DramaMama had sent me with competitor sale ads for price matches on a few of the items.

"Aw, CRAP! Some of this is price matches."

The checker who I will describe as a squaw from the blue-hair tribe of East Mesa, let out a noise of annoyance and irritation. She hailed the manager nearby as I checked the list and discovered that some of the price match items had already been scanned.

The manager shook her head.

"Is it too late?"

"Not if you don't mind starting over."

"Aww CRAP!"

I was about to just bag it and eat the cost, when the manager told the checker that she could void the items and rescan them. A simple task you might think, but the older woman nearly inhaled her false teeth at the prospect.

The Manager showed her how to do it, and I was apologizing profusely. Laser beams carved old lady initials in my forehead... okay... exaggerating again.

She got that all going, basically telling me to cork my gob while she got it done. Meanwhile the Bear is in the cart letting me know that he wants to go home and getting animal crackers everywhere. (He won out on that one.)

About three shift changes later, she finally rung up the total. "That'll be 4 million...." okay, okay, its was only $140 something. I scanned the card, and klaxons blared, men dressed in black descended from the ceiling on ropes...

Okay the card cleared, sheesh.

So I employed four stout Wal-Mart Grandpa's to help me push the cart to the door. By now the frozen Hungryman suit was getting soft, the milk was brown, and the Bear needed a shave.

"Hey Dad dude," the now gruff voice of the Bear said. "Is that your phone?"

I had not even heard it, but took it out and it was ringing. Being phone challenged, I hung up on the caller who turned out to be my dear, ill DramaMama. I called back and was told I needed to pick up The Large Drummer Boy and his sidekick Dreadlock Whitey.

So I traveled to the mall having to make three passes by the designated pickup spot before finding them. I was so frustrated that foul things such as "Darn Soup!" had escaped my lips.

Now, as I mentioned before, there was an item that I needed to get for DramaMama that required goverment clearance to purchase, so I headed to the pharmacy drive-up window.

This time there really was only one line, and it was a hundred cars deep. Blue-hairs on Metamucil runs or something.

After about ten minutes of waiting, Drummer Boy spoke in a most irritated tone letting me know that we would be home already if we had just parked and gone inside.

Did I mention that it is monsoon season and there was horrific lightning and heavy rain going on at the time?

I held my tongue with a comment about how I would also be home if I didn't have to circle the mall 3 times.

So, I finally got to the window and asked for a box of Advil Cold and Sinus which can now only be purchased directly from the pharmacist due to large quantities being stolen and used to produce crystal meth.

Now the guys in black descended from helicopters, took my life history, fingerprinted me and took mugshots, then I had to sign a book.

So after the body cavity search, I was allowed the box of medication for my dear wife.

At last we arrived home and carried in the vast quantities of grocery items.

All in all a rather interesting trip to the store. The highlight of course being able to annoy the matronly checkout Gramma. My work is done.

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