Monday, December 31, 2007

Annual State of the Union - 2007

It’s that time again.

Time to look back on the past year and to look forward into the next.

Time to judge how things have been going and how you want them to go in the near future.

I try not to get bogged down in “New Year’s Resolutions” because those things have a way of turning into disappointments and disillusionment.

So I prefer just to set goals for myself for the coming year and do everything that I WANT to do in order to make those come true.

As far as the looking backwards – I don’t do that very often because there is not much hope in reliving the past. But I do firmly believe in being thankful.

And what a year I’ve had to be thankful for!

To start off, I’d just like to throw my philosophical side into the fray – It’s been a Year of Revolution. A Year of Complete Change. A Year of My Soul Waking Up After Sleeping A Thousand Years.

That’s a mouthful – ain’t it!!!

As I review these things in my mind I think of all the “stuff” I did this year. All the firsts.

I started the year with back surgery – yowie, what a life changer. It really did fix my back and even with all the doo-doo I had to go through, I’m glad I did it now. I believe in my heart that all will be well by the end of the coming year.

Then I went with the Lasik surgery that fixed my eyes. Wow, if you need it, do yourself a favor and get it done. It’s amazing. I even got my beloved to do it and she can see too!

Then came the vasectomy. Now I’m not gonna talk much about that because, OUCH.

Now all of those things may not be important in the lives of ordinary people – but I’m the boy that never went to the doctor and used the age-old method of “ignore it and it will go away”.

But I was determined to live my life better because for the first time in a long time, I had everything to live for!

Yea, I know that may be melodramatic – but it’s true. I want to live to be an old man so I can experience all that Paige has to offer.

And that’s quite a lot! If you don’t believe me, give her a bottle of wine and watch her go-go-go!!!

And going on about my year – I GOT MARRIED. Yep, didn’t really think that would happen for a while – but I begged and she succumbed to my charms and said YES!

So on July 12, 2007 pretty much all my dreams came true.

She said she was looking for a sign from God that this was the right thing to do. She hasn’t been lucky in love (until now!) and she really wanted this to be right. And I realized that no matter how much I knew that I was born to love her that it had to be right for her. So I was very excited when she said YES!

So everything is set – she hasn’t told a soul because I think she’s afraid that it would be bad luck or that she would change her mind and jump off the top of the 800-foot tower we got married on. So we S-N-U-C-K off to Las Vegas to do the deed.

So here’s a short synopsis of what happened:

We get to the airport in New Orleans and find that our flight is canceled. They put us on standby the next day for a flight at 6am.

We can’t find a hotel. I go to six before we find on that smells funny and costs too much. Then we go have a great meal and settle in for a bad night’s sleep. We get up at 3am to get to the airport in time to make the standby flight.

We get on the plane! We get to Denver for the connecting flight and there is a “mechanical” problem with the plane. So we sit and sit and sit.

At this point, Paige is thinking God is sending her a sign…………….

So we finally get going. And arrive at Las Vegas!!! We can’t find our limo. He’s lost.

Then he shows up and we get loaded up and tell him that we’re getting married in a few hours and still need a license. So he speeds away to get us to the church on time and almost kills us. He slams on brakes and the champagne flies all over the limo and we get a little sideways……………

More signs from God???

We get our license and get to the hotel. Where they don’t have our room because we didn’t show up the day we were supposed to be there………….

God, are you talking to us???

I get a manager and we get it straight. Get to our room, get dressed and go to the top of the Stratosphere to get married.

The minister asks some guy to be a witness to our wedding so it will be official – and they guy says “no”.


OK, so by now, Paige is seeing burning bushes everywhere!

But it was a lovely ceremony. Very meaningful for me who sees all forms of romantic visions in everyday life.

And I know that this description is very chopped – but I’m just trying to give a brief view of this trip that changed my life forever.

I’m not even going to describe how mad her mother was that we did this without telling her – that’s a whole chapter that I’ll leave out for fear of reprisals!

I’ll just leave it that I got to marry the girl of my dreams and am a very happy man and will forever remember 2007 as the year of ME!!!!

I guess, at this point, I need to insert the saga of my beloved daughter at this point since it happened around the same time as my magical marriage.

This is happy and sad and crazy. This is my life………………..

So my daughter drops out of college in the spring. Very disturbing to me but I go along with it and try to talk with her and see what her thinking is so maybe I can help guide her along life’s path.

It’s what us father’s do!

But I find her getting very distant and remote. I don’t understand. I’m not a threatening kind of dad. I don’t get in my kids business so much. I try to lead rather than push.

So after a few months of this – I’m fairly desperate and hatch a plan to get her where I can spend some quality time with her and see what’s going on in her head.

So I call and ask if her boyfriend could come and drive my motorcycle to the Harley shop in Meridian – about 100 miles away. She could ride with me in the trusty Explorer and we would have an hour and a half of alone time so we could talk.

Everything starts out well and we are having a nice conversation. She’s telling me how she hated the college she was at and wanted to go to the University and blah, blah, blah.

Then she shows me the engagement ring she has and tells me that she wants to get married…………..

I launch into dad mode and tell her why that would be such a stupid thing to do.

She listens intently and then twiddles and then tells me that she’s going to have a baby.

A baby?


Then, I kid you not, about 60 seconds later I see her “boyfriend” ride off the side of the interstate on my motorcycle and flip over and over and over and over.

The Hand of God?

I’m not sure if my karma pushed him off or not – but it happened. I swear it did.

Totaled my motorcycle, he did. Gone, in a flash. Just like my daughter’s innocence.

Suffice it to say that was a bad day for me.

So after she planned this huge wedding that I didn’t want to put on – I talked them into going to Las Vegas and I would pay for everything. And they got married in the same place as Paige and I did.

And after 8 jobs and moving around, they are still living with her mother and life just got more complicated yesterday as my grandson Andrew Thomas Burnett was born. Mother and son are healthy and happy.

I pray that their life is good. I pray that my optimism holds………………..

But there was lots more in the year!!!

I got to do a boy’s trip in the fall. Went to see Bruce Springsteen in Chicago. Also caught Al Green the night before. Very cool trip. I do enjoy my music and probably will as long as I can go and do it. Which I hope is many, many more years!

The big trip this year was, of course, DISNEY WORLD. Or as I like to call it – MISERY WORLD (I borrowed that one from my most wonderful father-in-law – he can really turn a phrase!).

We went and saw and did and never a cross word was spoken. That in itself was worth the entire GNP that it cost to do that.

And here’s the crux of the matter for me in 2007:

As I sit and reflect back on this year, I am forced to realize that I am a lucky man. Luckier than I ever dreamed I could be.

There is something simply magical about wanting to go home in the evening. To be genuinely amazed at how one woman can make such a difference in my life.

Paige is the very breath I breathe. She is the milk in my corn flakes. Simply put, she is my muse and my lover and, did I mention that she’s my WIFE!!!

Yea for me.

So as I approach the New Year and Grandfatherhood, I am filled with something that can only be described as happiness. I would have said contentment – but it’s more than that.

Yes, I’m very comfortable. But this comfort is an active thing and not something that I simply receive. It’s something that permeates every facet of my life.

And I am forever grateful and my heart swells with pride.

So for each of you – I wish you more that you ever thought possible. I am living proof that it can happen if you just believe in it.


Papa Keith

Yes, I am a GRANDFATHER.....................

It only took 45 minutes for my daughter to produce a son in what I am certain must be a very uncomfortable manner.

His name is Andrew Thomas Burnett.

I am a grandfather, wow.

Very emotional thing that I still haven't sorted out yet - but I'm sure I will and I'm equally sure that you'll get to read about it at some point.

Right now, I'm just glad that my daughter is doing well and the baby is healthy.

The rest of life will just play out - one day at a time!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Merry Christmas - Happy New Year - Yada Yada Yada!

I've been off work for 9 days in a row now and 4 more to go.

Life is so good!!!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and got all they ever wanted. I sure did.

It's wonderful having a great family to share the holidays with. Makes everything in life so much better.

And I hope everyone has a safe and festive New Year's Celebration.

My love and I are going to the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day but we'll both be back in the Saddle sometime on January 2.

Until then: CIAO

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Parenting 101

OK, so Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant.

That doesn't bother me nearly as much as the stories that her mother (also Brittney's mom) was about to publish a book on parenting. A book that has been shelved indefinately.


I don't set my watch and warrant by celebrity news. Just don't care that much. Never been a reader of People or the Enquirer or any of those - but you just can't help but be bombarded by all this shit when you watch TV or listen to the radio.

Has it always been like this or is this a new phenomena?

I want a new society. One that values human life and listens to music very loudly. But only music that I like.

I wonder how quickly Little Miss Jamie Lynn's television program will be yanked. I'll bet you won't be able to even see a rerun.

Merry Freakin' Christmas from Kentwood, LA!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas Crazy

I've done pretty well this year. No major breakdowns with the throngs of people greedily snatching up all the Christmas loot.

I'm feeling pretty darned jolly. Kind of like Ole St. Nick, I suppose.

I'm very, very happy with my life.

I'm in love with a girl I don't deserve. Even convinced her to marry me!!! All in all, it's been a whale of a year.

And now as we try to cram all we need to do in the Christmas season into the last few days, I'm left pondering our Christmas celebration.

We all crave tradition - although we seem to do different things each year - probably in search of a tradition. Which I can't identify.

Which got me thinking about it all.

I know, I know, that's what I do! I think. I think I am. Therefore I am. I think.......

Is there a traditional Christmas dinner?

There is for Thanksgiving - It's the turkey, stupid! But we don't want turkey again the very next month, do we?

No, we want the traditional Christmas feast.

Problem is, there's not one. At least not one that I can think of.

I like to do some nice expensive beef for Christmas. A prime rib or a standing rib roast. About a hundred bucks makes me feel all Jolly and Christmasy.

So in an informal survey, let me know what it is that you like to eat on Christmas. Maybe we can nail down a tradition after all.

Hell, for all I know, there may be one and no one had let me in on it!

But on from there.........................

Still pondering Christmas.

"Oh bring me some figgy pudding, oh bring me some figgy pudding, OH BRING ME SOME FIGGY PUDDING AND BRING IT RIGHT HERE.

What the hell?????

What is figgy pudding and why would I ever want some so badly that you need to bring it to me?

"In the meadow we can build a snowman - then pretend that he is Parson Brown" - He'll say, "Are you married"? We'll say, "No Man" - "But you can do the job when you're in town".

OH MY GOD! What does this mean????

Seriously, this is very disturbing. It makes no sense and we just sing it all the time!

And what about the Grinch? You know, the one who stole Christmas. He descends on Whoville and makes off with the roast beast.

What kind of roast beast?

Turkey, Cow, Buffalo, Deer, Elk, Chicken, Pheasant, Ostrich, Warthog, Caribou..............

Seriously, what kind of beast???

Anyway, no matter how comfortable I am in my life - I obviously still have some issues with Christmas so I'll be spending the better part of this coming week trying to work those out.

I'll take all the help I can get.


Tale of the Old West

An old prospector walks his tired horse into town. He'd been out in the desert and in the mountains for six months without a drop of whiskey. He walked up to the first saloon he came to and tied his poor old mule to the hitch rail.
As he stood there brushing some of the dust from his face and clothes, a gunslinger walked out of the saloon with a gun in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. The gunslinger looked at the old man and laughed, saying "Hey old man, you ever danced"?
The old man looked up at the gunslinger and said, "No, I never did dance much - never saw the need in it".
A crowd had gathered by then and the gunslinger said, "Well, you old fool, you're gonna dance now", and started shooting at the old man's feet.
The old prospector was jumping around and everyone was laughing.
When the gunslinger had fired his last bullet, he holstered his gun, took a big gulp from his whiskey bottle and turned to go back in the saloon.
The old man reached up on the mule, drew his shotgun, and pulled both of the hammers back making a double clicking sound.
The gunslinger and everyone else heard the sound and everything stopped and got real quiet.
The crowd watched as the gunslinger turned slowly around looking down both barrels of the shotgun.
The old man asked, "Did you ever kiss a mule square on the ass"?
The gunslinger swallowed hard and said, "No - but I've always wanted to"!
Moral of the story - don't mess with Paige.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Homer Simpsonisms...........

If you want results, press the red button. The rest are useless.

You can have many different jobs and still be lazy.

There are some things that just aren't meant to be eaten.

The intelligent man wins his battles with pointed words. I'm sorry -- I meant sticks. Pointed sticks.

If I had a dollar for every time I heard "My God! He's covered in some sort of goo," I'd be a rich man.

Be generous in the bedroom -- share your sandwich.

I don't need a surgeon telling me how to operate on myself.

Sometimes I think there's no reason to get out of bed . . . then I feel wet, and I realize there is.

Let me just say, Winnie the Pooh getting his head caught in a honey pot? It's not funny. It can really happen.

Even though it is awesome and powerful, I don't take no guff from the ocean.

I never ate an animal I didn't like.

A fool and his money are soon parted. I would pay anyone a lot of money to explain that to me.

When you borrow something from your neighbor, always do it under the cover of darkness.

I may not be the richest man on earth. Or the smartest. Or the handsomest.

Never throw a butcher knife in anger.

The office is no place for off-color remarks or offensive jokes. That's why I never go there.

My favorite color is chocolate.

Always feel with your heart, although it's better with your hands.

Finally, Some Christmas Weather!

25 degrees last night. Put the bud on the nips, I'll tell ya!!!

I was tired of the 80+ degree stuff we've been having. Which to the people in Buffalo must seem like I'm crazy to complain about - but jeez, it should be at least COOL for Christmas!

Finally got to go back and shoot some cowboy action stuff this weekend. More fun than a man should be allowed to have, I tell ya true.

Came home smelling of brimstone from all the black powder I touched off. Saw fire shoot 6 feet out of my shotgun. Yep, very cool.

We finally got our Christmas tree up. Seems like we were the last family in the western hemisphere to do that because when we went to buy it, it was only $5.

Much better than the $80 I was prepared to shell out.

It looks very wonderful and at one time last night, I just sat in the room by myself with everything else off and just looked at it.

I have so many things to be thankful for in my life. And luckily for me, I know that so I don't miss a thing.

I hope and pray that in this season, we can all find something wonderful to be thankful for and allow that spirit to dominate our lives.

Let's vow to put away the negative and celebrate all the good things.

I think that sounds like a great New Year's Resolution...............


Friday, December 14, 2007

BIG RASCALS - He Man Bunko Haters Club

Men of the world have finally united!

We are TIRED of being bunko widows on Friday nights so we have formed our own club - NO GIRLS ALLOWED.

We had our first convocation tonight over a pecan wood fire where several two-pound ribeyes were sacrificed to the cause.

There was alcohol and loud singing of "Free Bird" with the requisite air guitar solo's.

But before I get too big for my britches - I guess I should admit that I brought half of my steak home to my bunko-playing wife to have when she gets home.

I guess we're not so tough after all...........

But there's always NEXT MONTH!!!

Party on Dudes!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thursday the 13th!!!

I guess that Thursday the 13th is no big deal but Friday the 13th is horrible?

Some things I just don't understand..............

But I learned a long time ago that I don't have to understand something for it to be a thing.

Today, I am going to see my neurosurgeon and let him take x-rays of all my back hardware so he can make sure that it's all in the right place.

I'm hoping to have the OK to go forth and hurt myself at the gym.

I can't believe how F-A-T I am. I realized, early on, in this surgical thing that I was going to be limited in what I could do. What I didn't count on is that the other side of that is what I WANT to do.

I go through the day, living with the pain of being cut open and rebuilt, and when it's over - I don't have the strength or will power to do anything about it.

Well, that has to change.

I have way too much pride in myself to let this go on any more. I'm not sure what I'm going to do but I do know that I will do SOMETHING.

I went to the gym and rejoined, paid a year in advance and am ready to get back to it. I order a new swim suit (Dear Beloved Wife will just die so I can't let her see me in it) and I hope to be back in the water by next week.

I've got the rowing machine out under the new patio and just need to get some electricity to it so I can get going on that. I've got a bike to ride but that still hurts too much to do that regularly yet.

So I'm almost ready to start - now all I have to do is to start. And that's the hard part.

But I'm resolved and I'll figure it out and do it. I'll have to change some of my schedules to make it work. I'm debating on the real freakin' early in the morning or the after 7pm thing for the gym and honestly don't know which I want to do.

History tells me that in the morning is the bestest time because there are too many excuses in the evening. But if that's going to happen, I'm going to have to get to bed much earlier than I normally do.

And that's a problem since I need to let my love get to sleep before me - apparently I make monster sounds while breathing at night that somehow precludes her from going to sleep!!!

So pray for me. I'm going to have to stop eating for a while again. Not sure how that will work either - but like I said, I'm committed to this so there is nothing to do but to do it.

So off I go.


Statue of Liberty

This is very cool. My friend Julie sent it to me. It's a picture of the Statue of Liberty as depicted by WW1 Soldiers..................

Friday, December 07, 2007

The Day That Will Live In Infamy

December 7, 1941.

Now I'm a kind of present-day philosophical sort. I don't dwell on the past and have found that if I concentrate on today, my life is much easier.

I don't have any guilt associated with past actions or inactions and I don't have the worry of tomorrow.

All in all, I've always felt lucky to be bent like that.

But there are some days, like today, that I go back to yesteryear with a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat as I remember all the men and women of our greatest generation.

I won't even listen to arugments about that greatest generation stuff. They just were. The sacrifices made were amazing. Every able bodied man and lots of women signed up to go and defend our country.

And that simple act led us to be the most powerful nation in our world. Something I think we're screwing up - but that's not for this stream of consciousness.

Go here and read about how it started:

I find that the longer we get from that point in history, the less we remember it. But we had better keep it close because you never know when, or if, we'll ever be called upon to do the unthinkable.

God Bless our Veterans and if you see an old person today, please thank them.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Got Christmas?

For those of you that haven't started shopping yet - it's now officially December and you can get going.

Meandering Through Life

As we go through life, I find that our perceptions change from time to time. And not only our perceptions - but the benchmarks in which we tend to judge ourselves change as we grow older.

Events that are lifechanging can have that effect on each of us. And when we experience those times in our lives, we owe it to ourselves to sit up and pay attention and apply those experiences to the tapestry of our lives.

This is how we grow.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs this morning. Please go and share the joy my friend Samantha communicates so very well at:

She is a new mommy and writes letters to her son at semi-monthly intervals. Today she was discussing the baptism of her son and what that means.

Maybe not even what it means, per se, but what it opens up inside of us that allows us to see the world a little differently.

The stages of our lives are fairly well planned out for us. And as we pass through each one, we gain a little more insight on where we are in the scheme of life.

At my point in life now, I have the ability to look back and see mistakes and how they played out. And with that comes the natural desire to pass those things along to the younger generation so maybe they can skip some of the harder stuff.

But alas, it seems that no matter how hard you try to prepare the next generation for what is to come, they have the very same hubris that I had at that time in my life. That hubris tell them that "that won't happen to me".

But it always does.

That is why they say that "youth is wasted on the young".............

But I can honestly say that this is the best time in my life. I love this woman I am married to more than I can ever adequately explain. I love all things Paige. I even love the way she yells at me and it takes all I can do not to run up and hug her when she's a-fussin' at me.

But I have lived long enough to realize that I should not do that - I just take my licks and keep on tickin'.

Or is that take my ticks and keep on lickin'?

God has been so good to me. I know that because I can't assign all my good fortune to sheer luck.

You see, I do believe in God but luck is a little more difficult to put my hands around. If I had luck, then my lottery ticket would have surely hit by now since I'm such a faithful player of Ye Ole Powerball!

But today, look around you and see all the things you have to be thankful for - and rejoice in those things. Inhale them deeply and let it soak in just how wonderful your life is.

After that, if you find yourself lacking in any area, then you have the basis for your New Year's Resolutions.

It's like killing two birds with one stone.

Anyway, I love my life - and I hope you love yours too!


Monday, December 03, 2007

I'll Get You My Pretty

Do you ever dream of the flying monkeys?