I got an email this morning demanding I bring back the Friday Funny, and it needed to start today. I shall honor that request (since there was also an offer of food included) with a joke I got from a friend last week.One day, in line at the company cafeteria, Joe turned to his friend Mike behind him, "My elbow hurts like crazy. I think I'll have to visit the doctor." Mike frowned and replied, "Listen, you don't have to spend that kind of money. There's a diagnostic computer down at Wal-Mart. Just give it a urine sample and the computer will tell what's wrong and what to do about it. It takes ten seconds and cost ten dollars; a lot cheaper than a doctor."Joe was very curious. He deposited a urine sample into a jar and took it to his local Wal-Mart. He deposited ten dollars into the machine and the computer lit up and asked for the urine sample. He poured it into the open slot and sat down to wait. Ten second later the computer ejected a printout:You have tennis elbow. Soak your arm in warm water and avoid heavy activity. It will improve in two weeks. Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.That evening, still amazed how this new technology worked, Joe began wondering if the computer could be fooled. He mixed up some tap water, a stool sample from his dog, urine samples from his wife and daughter, and his own sperm sample for good measure. He then hurried down to Wal-Mart very eager to see the results.Joe entered his ten dollars, poured in the concoction, and waited for the results. After ten seconds the computer printed out the following:You have hard tap water; get a water softener. Aisle 9.Your dog has ringworm; bathe him with anti-fungal shampoo. Aisle 7. Your daughter has a cocaine habit. Get her into rehab.Your wife is pregnant; twins. They aren't yours, get a lawyer.If you don't stop playing with yourself, your elbow will never get better.Thank you for shopping at Wal-Mart.Have a great weekend everyone.
Ode to Dave's adventure
Here I sitWithin the bankMy brother DaveClose to the lakeHe drives a carHe doesn't ownHe tows a thingHe got on loanThe tag is oldIt might expireThe cops may frownAnd stop the tireThey'll keep the bikeHe drove to getAnd let him goTo home and fretPlans will fallHours will passThe bike will sitNot under his ...Whoa! This is a family poem. Carry on, but keep it clean, mister. Anyway...What's Dave to doSo far from homeDoes he grow angryOr sit and moanDoes Betsy fearWill JJ cryWhere is their manCry rhymes with nighHis pretty face Will win no prizeHis bike is lostDave sits and sighsAnd so to homeHe now must aimThe cops have wonDave drives in shameBut life is goodFor safe at homeIs his friend SamNo need to roamI bid you goneDon't leave againI'll end this songLet's eat some hen.The end.
A funny coincidence
In the past, when Ell was in the midst of a hard semester at school, our TV viewing would become quite sporadic. Both for lack of time and more recently, lack of good programs on network TV. A couple years ago CBS started a show called, "How I Met Your Mother" and we both fell in love with it. We found it halfway through the first season and have missed only a couple episodes since. Monday's show was a re-run, but a couple things struck me funny because of how they reminded me of our own lives. In the show, Ted was filling a cardboard box he called, "The Box of stuff I have no use for". We have a box like that too, but our box looks and sounds like a garbage truck.One of the items Ted couldn't part with was something he got in Lisbon.We live in Lisbon, and we have some of those things too.Sorry for the random post; it made me laugh. And if you want to laugh, check out Ell's blog for a funny pic of me on my birthday.
Excess, a seperate thought
Here's the problem with the previous post as I presented it... I didn't write it when I felt it.
Like I've mentioned many times before, I'm always writing or detailing or outlining "words" in my head. Those words range from writing new posts, adding background to my book, having future conversations with people, making lesson plans for Bible study, debating political beliefs, and so much more. The thought streams that stick around or reoccur are the ones that see the light outside my brain. If I can get to those topics as they are happening or even shortly after, they are inspired and on-task and usually something I'm happy with. Even as I wrote the previous post I wasn't happy with it. I was going into tangents that weren't part of my original thoughts and writing words I hadn't even contemplated. In fact, I wrote and deleted whole sections at least a few times trying to get it sounding right. I should have taken my own vibe and quit while I was ahead.While I still stand behind my statement that we have and waste that which we could give and preserve, the way that opinion came out wasn't how it was written in my head. The water thing was a trigger for a much bigger lion I'm wrestling with, and I should have recognized it. Please know I'm happy with the conversation that happened there, just not with how I started it; it wasn't the finest hour in my writing career. This topic should have been addressed better and I'll rectify that sometime soon.Thanks to all who commented, and go Bucs.
For obvious reasons, the idea of extra "stuff" has been on my mind lately. But not just in my house, rather on a more global sense. How much is too much? Can Americans even grasp that question? Can they even see beyond their own tunnel vision to look at the world around them and how their actions affect it? I used to be (naively, maybe) optimistic that we could change our mindsets and start to care for our planet. With each day I grow less convinced.Wednesday night I sat in PNC park with Ell and her brother watching the grounds keepers get the field ready for the game. Relining the baselines, raking the pitcher's mound smooth, setting the bases... and then I saw it. A hose was hooked up to a water outlet and three guys commenced with hosing down the infield dirt. The whole thing. From third base all the way around to first. I was blown away. Now I've been to a lot of baseball games, and maybe this isn't new, but I'd never seen this practice done before. I'm sure there are legitimate reasons for this giant waste of water; dust, traction, etc. But all I could think of was people in Africa --heck, even the south western United States-- who would pay good money to have that water that was being wasted. Yes, I said wasted.Just as fast as the thought entered my brain, I envisioned the arguments that would be leveled against me. And every one of them angered me even more because every one of them was born out of greed and deep selfishness. Problem was, I'm certain many would not view their arguments in those lights. They paid good money to see a game; they deserve to not have their vision blurred by dust. And on and on and on...We live surrounded by this kind of selfishness. We think we deserve air conditioning; we think we deserve to drive SUV's, we think we deserve to have too-big houses, we think we deserve to throw away our food if we don't like it... And don't feed me some crap that our free country affords us these privileges; that you work hard so you can spend and use as you see fit. Therein lies the ultimate of that selfish mentality. Calling me a Socialist? If Socialism requires a kinder, less selfish existence (which of course isn't all that accurate) then sign me up.I love this country and I love that it affords freedom for anything we want. What I don't love is that we've grown into a people that have zero global conscience. It's not a new selfishness, I know. But even more so then, we should be pursuing a purpose of making some changes. All we've done is replace old habits with just as destructive new ones. We've even fixed old mistakes in the midst of making new ones. I have a million thoughts that could make this post a mile long (and completely disjointed), so I'll quit here. Thanks for letting me vent.
Caution, Adrienne. I'm putting up a challenger.I on purpose didn't blog for a while so I could leave the metoer shower post up. (Which, btw, if you missed it, was awesome. For me, the second best in twenty years.) In that internet silence, a lot has happened. So here's my recent life if anyone's interested.Friday night, Ell and I went into Columbiana. Our friend Steve bought a store-front a few months back and recently tore out all of the interior walls and ceiling. After filling a dumpster will all the nasty stuff, he still had a pile of wood scraps as long as the building. So we went to the store and started dragging out as much wood as would fit into my truck. (All after my friend Grant stepped on a big-'ol nail five minutes into the work and left a huge blood stain on the sidewalk.) My plan had been to take a couple loads back to the house, but the first one was more than we could use or even stack by the firepit. So we instead headed up to Quaker Steak & Lube for wings and beer. It was a good end to the work week. Saturday morning I went to Lifeline (the pregnancy center I'm the treasurer of) for a board meeting where we interviewed two women for the vacant Director position. It was a bit taxing on the brain because they were both very good candidates and we had a hard time choosing. After the meeting I took a quick shower and loaded the car for a trip down to Columbus, Ohio.Ell was keeping the Cafe open on Sunday for the John Wayne event, so I was making the trip alone. As I got close to the city, I was passed by two Ferrari's and two Lamborghini's; one of them a Diablo. Just because I have a car that can, I sped up to 90 mph just to see how fast the Diablo would pass me. Let's just say my 90 mph may as well have been a toy car next to the power of the Diablo. It was pretty awesome.Almost there I get a call from Ell that some crazy lady came onto our porch and ripped four of Ell's plants right out of the pots. Ell chased her across our yard and into the neighbors and confronted her. If you see her, ask Ell the whole story. The short version is that the lady is mentally crazy and the local sherriff's office is keeping tabs on her good and bad days. Turns out her bad days seem to be of late happenning on our soil. Her name is Sandy and you'll see her name again soon.Once in Columbus, I got to spend some alone time with my Dad. He's been going through a pretty intense time lately --on top of his already long list of problems-- and was scheduled for a kidney biopsy on the 12th. That evening, my sister's families all came over for a picnic and a good 'ol fashioned water fight. I watched some Olympics with my Mom later that night and saw Phelps win one of his golds. For some reason I was having some real emotional issues pertaining to my family, so I went upstairs early and called Ell. We talked through some of them and I tried to go to sleep.Sleep was not good. First, the emotional stuff was busy in my head. Then a thunderstorm blew in and my Mom woke me up to move stuff. Then a fan crashed to the floor. Then my phone died, beeping away. Then I had to try and regulate an internal clock to wake me up at 4:30. All in all, I slept for about 45 minute spells broken up by 15 minute wide awake spells. Horrible night, really.Getting up at 4:50 am, I headed to pick up my eleven year old nephew Isaiah for his first ever experience going fishing. It ended up being a horrible day for fishing, but we gave it a good shot. After going to lunch at Wendy's and discussing politics with an eleven year old, we played tennis in the shadow of the Horseshoe. That went well until we started doing power shots which meant every other ball flying into other courts occupied by other players. Funny for us, not so much for them. Isaiah still has some heavy emotional issues tied to his adoption at such a late (for a child) age, so every chance I have I want to spend time with him. The three hour drive puts a big damper on that, but I'm making as much of an effort as I can. I just wish it could be more.Halfway through the tennis game I got a call from the guy who mows our lawn. He said a crazy lady named Sandy came and asked about some plants and a figurine. I told him not to give her any information and to make sure all our doors were locked. This lady was starting to piss me off.Before I headed north, I asked Dad if I could pray for him. Unfortunately, I started crying so hard I couldn't talk. It was hard for me to see my rock-hard Dad in such a deflated state, and I just couldn't handle my emotions. He was crying too, and so we just cried together for about five minutes. When I could form words again, I told God how pissed I was that this was happening to my Dad, but gave him up to be used by God for whatever purpose He had planned. I told God it sucks, but was ready for the worst. After I prayed, my Dad and I sat and talked and he shared some emotional feelings he told me he hadn't, and wouldn't, share with anyone else. Oldest child and only son, I've always had a great bond with my Dad. So this ordeal is hard.With random spattering of tears I headed for home. Since I was by myself and there would be no risk of annoying Ell, I took a different route home to do some Canal site seeing. All that accomplished was that it made me more excited about it's history and more anxious to plan a thru-hike of it. Oh don't get me started.That night, our friends Grant, Jonathan, and Megan came over for dinner and some Olympic watching. I convinced Ell to call the sherriff about Sandy and they said to keep us informed if she came back. I told Ell that if she showed back up I was going to beat her up and if she told the cops I'd deny it all. Who'll believe a crazy lady anyway, right?I'm on vacation this week, so I spent most of Monday cleaning up the house and getting ready for people coming over. We didn't have power for a few hours (same time as you Kimmy), so I weeded in the garden for about three hours. Around 7:00, people started showing up and the grilling began. As the sun set, someone lit the ginormous scrap pile from Steve's store and the group settled around it. Like I said at the beginning of this post, the stars were intense. Those that were paying attention to the stars (and not the socializing around the fire) saw more than fifty. Astronomers claim a peak happens in the mid hours of the night, but we didn't notice any difference. I finally crashed on the ground around 5:00 am, waking up around 6:30 to go inside. Only four or five people stayed the night, so we had a scaled down version of the big breakfast we'd planned. It was still too much food.Ell and I napped the rest of the morning. She kept sleeping into the afternoon and I left to get a new sticker for my truck and to get a new driver's license. When I got back we started cleaning out the kitchen. It really is amazing how much "stuff" you can accumulate in only a few years. We actually threw away more stuff than we kept. Intense, isn't it? After that we went to our favorite restaurant, Pondi's, for dinner. No sooner had we got home (around 9:30 pm) when someone knocked on our porch door. It was Sandy. Oh man I was pissed. Ell went out and Sandy asked Ell if she could trade us a $300 figurine for one of the plants she'd stolen. Ell of course said no, so Sandy asked her if she could smell it one last time. (Before what?) She left and Ell begged me not to call the sherriff. I agreed and went outside and the crazy b**** had opened my car door and did or stole who knows what. I'm telling you this lady is gonna get beat.The worst part about Sandy interrupting our evening (cover your children's eyes) is that I'd planned on having my birthday sex outside watching the leftover meteors. Some crazy lady wandering around your property really puts a damper on plans like that. So instead we retired to our living room, locked the doors, and watched Phelps win another gold medal. That dude is nuts. Ell eventually fell asleep on the couch after doing some sewing, so I woke her up and we went to bed.Now I'm sitting in the Encore Cafe. I ate some breakfast, drank some tea, hung out with Ell and Megan (who might be starting a blog soon) and perused my blogroll. A nice day so far. We might go see a Pirates game tonight, so I need to do some stuff. Later.
THE HEAVENS ARE ON FIRE!!!
The Perseid's are coming! The Perseid's are coming! The meteor shower, that is. August 11th through the 13th, the Perseid meteor shower will once again visit the sky overhead. (For those of you I didn't bore with it last year.....) The Perseid meteor shower is the largest visible meteor shower of the year, so named because the meteors seem to rain down from the constellation Perseus. In recent years the experts have estimated up to eighty an hour were visible in the right conditions. Pretty impressive when some people have only seen one or two their entire lives. As usual, we're having people over for a bonfire and some star watching the evening of August 11th. The peak is from 1am to 2am the morning of the 12th, so don't worry if you have to come late. We understand the weekday timing may not be ideal for many of you, but we hope as many of you can come as possible. And like previous years, if anyone wants to spend the night you are more than welcome to do so. I'll be on vacation that week and will be fixing a big breakfast if anyone makes it through the night.
If you need directions or have other questions, please comment with your email and I'll get back to you.
Ell and I hope to see you there.
This post is for my sister Karin. Karin is the oldest of my three younger sisters and today is her birthday. She was born eleven days shy of my first birthday. (I know, horny parents, right?) As soon as we were both old enough to comprehend ages, those were special days. We thought it was so awesome to be the same age that we'd always tell people we were twins during that time. Cute little kid stuff.So here's to eleven days of fun. Happy Birthday, Karin; hope your day is super special. And as to all you curious folk, no I won't tell you how old she is. That would be rude. By the way, I'll be 33 in eleven days.