Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Wishes

Well boys and girls - I hate to admit this, but I'm taking the rest of the year off!!!

That is probably not as exciting as it should be but I'm pretty much looking forward to it anyway.

I don't know how much "time" (or energy......) I'll have to contemplate any blogging while I'm not at work - but we'll see.

Here are some things I want to leave you with for the year and I certainly hope that each and every one of you has a wonderful holiday season and here's hoping that all YOUR dreams come true!

Be understanding to your enemies
Be loyal to your friends
Be strong enough to face the world each day
Be weak enough to know you can't do it all alone
Be generous to those that need help
Be frugal with things you need
Be wise enough to know you don't know everything
Be foolish enough to believe in miracles
Be willing to share joy
Be willing to share the sorrows of others
Be a leader when you see the path
Be a follower when you are uncertain
Be the first to congratulate those who succeed
Be the last to criticize those who fail
Be judgemental but never judge
Be sure where you next step will fall so you will not tumble
Be sure of your destination in case you're going the wrong way
Be most loving to those that love you

For these things are the measure of a person and the means by which we are all judged.

Peace on Earth

Monday, December 15, 2008

Graduatory Celebration!!!

Here is the proud papa and his baby on the morning of the momentous occasion. Gotta love them college graduations!!!
And just so's I don't hog all the spotlight - here is the man of the hour in front of the damned sign. You know it's obiligitory to do the graduate in front of the sign picture, don't cha?

Anyway, later that afternoon, my son Cody and 1300 or so of his closest friends and associates participated in a graduation tradition that seems to go back as far as you'd like to look in history. All I know is that as soon as he walked across the stage and got his empty diploma holder thingy, I grabbed my beautiful wife and we skeedaddled on out of there. The damned place holds 8200 people and it was F U L L!!!
But I'm happy for him and I'm happy for me. That shit is expensive, you know!!!


As you can see via photographic evidence - it did snow in South Mississippi. It didn't quite rain cats and dogs - but this was close.

Our southern attempt at a snowman. Don't you dare judge us!!!

The front part of the house is covered in a blanket of white stuff. But notice that the driveway was warm enough for snow not to stick on it.
Brave girls going forth into the frozen tundra........................

Here is one incredibly cute and very, very cold little girl who was very glad that school was canceled!!!

And here are both of the angels..........what I didn't show you was the huge bruise that the little one left on the big one after plopping her with the biggest snowball ever seen.

Apparently all is well that ends well!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Folks, I live 60 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.

In a place where many times the grass doesn't even go dormant for the winter.

And I have 6 inches of snow on the ground.


No, let me change that. COLD!!!

I drove the 40 miles up the interstate to work and it looked a bit like bumper cars had been played on the highway.

That's the one bad thing about the snow down here. We are NOT equipped to deal with the driving aspect of it.

That's why the TV and Radio was imploring people to stay home today.

And that's why I'm at work. I don't follow rules very well.............

Hope your snow day is fun!


Monday, December 08, 2008

Christmas Trees, Curtains and Bears, Oh My!

Yep, it was time for the Christmas Tree Ritual.

Of course, the problem with that is that there is really no Christmas Tree Ritual to begin with.

I mean, we've had a few years of practice but nothing that I would consider to be a tradition or ritual.

Then we've got the new house.

With the new floors.

The floors that are prayed over and cleaned and swept with much love and vigor. Lots and lots of vigor!

So it was decided that we would just have a fake tree.

Yep, a Plastic Christmas.

But if we're going to do that, by God, we're gonna have a nice plastic tree.

And I don't know if you have looked at those things lately - but they're real damned expensive!!!

So we decided we would use Hannah's boyfriend's tree from his apartment this year and buy one of the $Elventy Hundred Dollar ones in the 90% After Christmas Sales Event.

And as for now, it's sitting skinny and forlorn in our living room. All it needs is lots of love and some lights and shit and it will be ready to go!

I mean, seriously, all you need is a present recepticle, right? I was all for using the dining room table with a small tree on the table - but I didn't really get any response when I suggested that other than step-children looking at me with those eyes that emplored me to shut the hell up.

But at least we have a decision and we're moving onward toward Christmas now and that's all I really care about.

That and the fact that my long-suffering son is going to graduate in 4 days from college. Wow. That make me really, REALLY happy!!!

So after the tree decision, we got up Saturday morning with the intent to go and find some curtains for our living room so all the crooks couldn't look in the bare windown that measures more than a tractor-trailer rig and see all of our goodies at Christmastime.

And find some we did.

We got to JC Penney's and found literally hundreds of draperies to look at. And look at them we did. And we did what every rich american family would do - we bought several of them and tried them out and took the ones we didn't like as much back!!!

We also lucked up and found some we bought for the living room - well, we didn't like them so much in the living room but they went PERFECTLY in the dining room. Who'd'a figured?

So now my beautiful wife wants curtains in every room because we had so much fun picking out these..................

But I'm thinking not.

We'll see.

All I know is that I am very happy to be where I am right now. I love my life. I love, love, love my wife.

Yep, I'm very glad to be in my right now place. I hope you are too.

So remember: Don't look back it won't do any good/Don't look ahead you'll be misunderstood/Everything you need could be right in front of you..............

Words to live by.


Friday, December 05, 2008

God Bless America - And Only America?

We have had a little problem at my church in the past few months.

It was one of those things that it was hard for me to take seriously because it seemed like such a small thing - but it was one of those things that just wouldn't go away.

As I have gotten older, I truly believe that so many of our "issues" will go away if you'll just leave them alone and not give them the attention they crave.

But this one just kept going and going and it would not go away. As a matter of fact, it was getting increasingly more and more bitter as it went along so it just had to be dealt with it.

Unfortunately, our pastor became the flashpoint for this controversy and he was put in a position that he should have never had to deal with - so in order to put it to rest it was put on the church council adgenda for last night.

And everyone was invited to participate in the discussion and after all views had been heard, the church council would make a decision on what to do and that would be the end of that.

I guess at this point, I should mention the issue: Several older men, in reaction to the "change" that is happening in our country felt it was necessary to put an American Flag up front in our sanctuary.

Doesn't sound like a big deal, does it?

But when old men threaten to whip your pastor's ass because he's a commie - then it gets attention. Lot's of attention.

So our Pastor got up and spoke last night. He spoke as eloquently as I have ever heard anyone speak. And he didn't speak about the issue at all. He spoke about focusing on what is truly important in life.

He spoke of his dissertation that he wrote on the problems we have in our churches these days and the main differences between churches that grow and churches that die. And the reason is that churches that succeed focus on the big picture and churches that are dying tend to expend all their energy on small matters that have nothing to do with the mission of the church.

I'm sure that the color of the wall in the boys bathroom is important - but not to the extent that you should have committee meetings to deal with it. And the list goes on and on about how many unimportant things we spend so much of our valuable time on.

Anyway, he went on to speak on a sermon of John Wesley's where he pointed out that each of us should be able to live with the differences we have but celebrate the things we have in common.

Now, you have to keep in mind that I'm simply summarizing comments and concepts here - so it is very difficult for me to express in this forum how eloquent and passionate his presentation was.

When he was done, he prayed a beautiful prayer and went home to kiss his wife and tuck his daughters in. He left the council to deal with the issue because for some reason, he had become, like I mentioned earlier, the flashpoint for the issue and he wanted to remove himself from the discussion so the discussion could remain on a non-personal level.

There were many people in attendance.

And I had no idea who was there to speak for what side. I went because I wanted to make sure that a rational point of view was represented if things got ugly.

I guess, basically, that I went to have the back of my friend, my pastor (or my boyfriend as my wife likes to call him!). You can picture me as kind of like the big guy on the playground that kept an eye on and took up for his friend, the little book worm guy that the othe kids were picking on.

But sometimes, believe it or not, I can become very passionate about things I believe in. And fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your point of view) I as born with the ability to verbalize my concepts very well and sometimes to roll over people with a differing point of view.

And for that reason, my wife, my beautiful, wonderful wife who I would die for (but have much more fun living for!) was not very happy that I was there.

She didn't tell me - but I could tell - that she didn't want me to get up and be, well, get up and be me.

So I prayed about that. I really did and after much consideration I just figured that I would wait and see what happened.

Then it started and people got 2 minutes to say whatever they wanted to say on the issue with the directive to keep it civil and not become personal in their expressions. We did not want a forum for people to slam others because of thier beliefs.

Most of the people there to speak were older folks. So I was worried how this was going to go.

And when I say older, I mean much older - Korean War veterans and pillars of our community, and to a person, people that I have not only respect for but admiration as well.

Then the first speaker got up, wasn't so old but he was dressed in his uniform and spoke about going back for his fourth deployment - and his obvious patriotism - and his need not to have a flag in order to realize what country he lived in. He was very eloquent and I appreciated his comments.

Then the comments kept coming and coming and coming.

And all of them were about why we didn't need to have a flag in the sanctuary of our church and how thinking that we were somehow unpatriotic if we didn't do it was just not true.

Each and every comment had been in favor of us just letting this issue go and why it wasn't important to any of them.

Then came that point in the meeting where a letter was read. The letter was written by someone who could not be there but wrote about her father that had just died.

She wrote about how he had served on Iwo Jima and Guam and Guadalcanal with the Marine Corp in the Great War. About how crusty an old not-so-educated southerner from another era he was. About how patriotic he and all of the people from his generation were and the sacrafices they made that can't ever be misunderstood by any generation. She spoke of how even though he left the Marine Corp after he got home from the war that he kept up with his comany members up until the time of his death.

She wrote about how when the Anti-War sentiment of the Vietnam War raged and everyone wanted to use the "America, love it or leave it" theme in the churches and wanted to drape all of our sacred things in patriotism, well, she wrote about how he was against it then and he surely would be against this now.

And I don't know if it was the emotions of the moment or the beauty of her letter or my hormones or whatever, but I found myself holding hands with an old man (and one that my wife not-so-secretly loves) and tears were running down my face.

I'm not even sure what the tears were for.

And I'm still not sure - but I can tell you that for an hour of my life last night, I was so very proud of who I am and where I was and maybe more importantly than any of that, the fact that my faith in those around me was lifted so very high that I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it felt.

The bottom line to all this was that there was only one of the men that wanted the flag put up that showed up. And I have great respect for this man and cherish him. His arguement was eloquent and passionate as well and I appreciated his point of view.

But there was not another point of view like his in the entire room.

The worry I had about being there to protect my friend if needed was gone completely so I was very happy to report to my wife that not only did I not embarass myself (or her) - but I didn't even get up to speak. It would have been so redundent that it would not be needed.

All of us that were there for that issue had to leave while the council had formal discussion and made their decision - and I have no idea what that decision was because I met my wife for some sushi! But I didn't need to stick around because we were all of one mind.

With the one exception, who I now felt so very sorry for.

And I haven't made any arugments here, nor do I feel I need to about why I feel the way I do on this issue. This thing is very personal and each person is allowed to have his view and to hold them close or advertise them as he sees fit.

That's what is so great about our country.

And isn't that the point of all this anyway???

If you're interested in my point of view at all, you can check out chapter six of the Gospel of St. Matthew and figure it out.

But at this point, for me, I am just so happy this thing is over and can be put to rest. Now it's time to get on with life and our mission.

So during this time of Advent, when beginnings are so celebrated and cherished, if there is anything in your life that you need to start over with, I say this is the time to say yes to you!


George Bush - 6 Weeks and Counting!

Clap for the Wolfman

Anyone else notice that Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico and soon to be Commerce Secretary for President Obama looks suspiciously like Wolfman Jack?

I know that The Wolfman is supposed to be dead. At least it was reported years ago that he had died - but they said the same thing about Elvis, didn't they?

In the flurry of mergermaina these days, the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio merger recently made me very happy. They took the best of both worlds and put them together. I was always a Sirius fanboy but XM had some good stuff as well. The best change for me on Sirius was that they put the "decade" stations from XM on instead of the ones from Sirius. So now I get, on the 60's channel, the old Wolfman Jack shows, the old AM shows from Los Angeles and other things that were before my time but still hold buckets of nostalgia for me. The 70's station always plays the old Kasey Kasem American Top 40 countdowns from my junior high days which is always fun to listen to.

So anyway, the only reason I brought that up was because I have been listening to the old Wolfman Jack shows, it just struck me when I saw the pictures of the Governor that he did in fact look like the Wolfman.

Which is pretty cool.

Clap for the Wolfman, he gonna rate your record high!


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thanksgiving Pic's

Everyone needs to have a few gratuitous holiday shots published just so they'll get in trouble with all thier loved ones - so here's mine!!!

See and be very jealous of the Thansgiving spread with the happy (handsome) cook at the end of the bar! Yep, it was very, very good. Turkey, ham, dressing, corn and green bean casserole (so yummy), deviled eggs, greens, chicken and dumplings, crowder peas, rice, gravy, rolls............oh yea, it was good.

Here is the gratuitous shot of the beautiful step daughter who, like most 18 year old girls, thinks her step father is an idiot - but she loves me anyway!

Here are the in-laws who were very happy just to be eating. It seems the older we get, the more that part of life means to us!! Look carefully at the bottom and you can see my precious little step child just putting her nose into the picture. She's always around the action!

Here is my mother and my beautiful wife obviously engrossed in engaging conversation with someone across the table. I rescued my mother from the nursing home for a few hours and she had a wonderful time.

And now here is the new thing in my life - yes, the most assuredly gratuitous grandson picture. He's a very happy boy and he had a blast visiting. He didn't care about the turkey or anything, he just wanted to play. I think there's a lesson in that for all of us - don't you?

And of course, everything must end. Every visit and every post. But it's always good manners to wave bye-bye when it's that time. So Drew says bye-bye and he doesn't care one bit about drinking and driving. He thinks it's cool

Peace. For all of us. Now and Forever.

Survived Another One

Well, it's been very slow posting after Thanksgiving...........

I think that equates to laziness more than anything else. Everything just seems to slow down this time of year. Business is slower therefore all else is as well.

Except for the Crazy Christmas Drivers!!!

I am continually amazed at the volume of shoppers in my fair city this time of year. It hasn't hit me yet - but it will - and I will not want to get out in it until after the first of the year. I normally get that claustraphobic feeling in my chest during the Christmas Shopping Season. Too many people - too much stuff.

My beautiful wife and her daughter were out of the house at 3am on "Black Friday". They were back home and asleep by noon. With a car FULL of stuff. One thing about my wife is that she really does shop. Like a pro.

It's just another thing I added to her "professional list" a long time ago. She's good at so many things.

Oh yea, she's really, really good....................

Sorry, got lost there for a minute.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great holiday and I hope that you're gettin' ready for the next one!!!