Monday, February 28, 2005
Yesterday we had a banjo player, a mandolin player, a couple of fiddlers, a standup bass, three guitars, an autoharp, and the lady with the harmonica collection. What a wonderful time we had.
The music we play is from before the time when most Americans could write. It was a time when history and legends where passed using music. People have gone to great lengths to record and document this old music. The movie Songcatcher is a great example of this. If you haven't seen it check it out. (Iris Dement is in this movie.)
Some of the people at the Jam session know the history of their favorite songs. When it is their turn to pick a song they'll also tell the story. We'll play the song in a bluegrass style. That means you play it through singing verse and chorus. Then play it through again with instruments taking the lead. You do this over again until all the verses are exhausted. Plus we play old fiddle tunes where there is no singing, just instruments taking their turns on lead.
This week I'm going to venture over to the music store and buy a collection of these songs. I just don't know enough of them. But I can't wait to learn.
Jeff, if you're ever near the 'Burg on a Sunday afternoon, give me a call. I've got a guitar you can borrow.
Friday, February 25, 2005
I am addicted to this blog. I start getting shaky if there hasn't been a post in the past 60 minutes. I'm checking it every 15 minutes like a junky licking the last crumbs of smack out of the bottom of an empty cellophane packet...
Seriously, this was a great idea, Rog. And I am getting to know everyone's thoughts, feelings, and - well, musings - better than I have in the past, and that's A-OK.
Now. Somebody shoot me posting fix before I start reading blogs written by people I don't even know. For god's sake, could anyone ever sink so low???!!!
Thursday, February 24, 2005
This evening I went out to give some guitar lessons and returned home to find some good repartee between Jeff and Myron in the comments of the "Meet Willa" post. They were basically talking about 'Nature vs. Nurture.'
Now, I'm not an education or early childhood expert like those two. (I'm sure that Myron's wife and mine would both have something to say, too.) But when I think about 'Nature vs. Nurture' as it applies to my children, I just want to be able think that I nurtured them enough that they had every opportunity to use all that nature gave them.
And who did I nurture today? In twenty years Isa will not remember today. I will. I will always remember the feeling of holding the warm little baby on my chest. I will be reminded of it someday when the grandchildren come along.
For Isa, our time took care of some of the needs that have to be fulfilled if she's going to be able to reach her potential. For me, it was more spiritual. It was more of a completion of my being.
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
It's time I introduced the youngins. This is our eldest daughter, Willa. She is a joy. Her compassion is truly what sets her apart. She loves reading Junie B. Jones. She thinks Albert Pujols is the best baseball player ever. Jimmie Johnson is her favorite Nascar driver, but she also likes his teammate, Jeff Gordon.
She loves dancing, singing, and making up songs. She's also undefeated against Jason in Monopoly Junior. She can hit a ball pretty far (although not as far as her cousin Parke). Plus, she's pretty good at jumping rope.
Like Wade, she loves "Mary Poppins." She loves to dance with the chimney sweeps. But her favorite movie is "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory." We are looking forward to the remake this summer.
Her favorite concert was the Mr. Stinky Feet concert at her school. Somehow she commandeered the microphone and sang the "Bop Bop Dinosaur" song with Mr. Stinky Feet.
One of the most interesting things about Willa is her fear of mascots. She loves them, but she is also deathly afraid of them. You have to be careful when you take her to a game. If you get too close to a mascot she just trembles.
Willa has been a wonderful blessing for Shelly and me.
The year was 1985 (or '84) and the troy Girls Team was marching toward the final four. It was a year that the boys were already out of the running, so you figure it out (my mind is not that strong anymore!) I think it was in the thick of districts or regionals. Anyway, a carload of us, captained by Mr. Jerry Putting and his infamous ford escort station wagon, had set sail for St. Charles to see the action. Here are the people that I can for sure remember were in the car: Jerry P., Jeff (what the heck is his last name - tall basketball player - moved to Clopton), Roger (who will play into the story in greater depth), Howdy, and myself. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone important.
I remember Renee Rogliardi played a hot game that night, but I don't remember too much else about it - except that the troy girls DOMINATED against Mexico in an exciting game.
High on our school's resounding victory, we made for a McDonalds just off I-70 - I think at the O'fallon exit. After stuffing ourselves we carried our mammoth tubs o' coke out to the parking lot. there was a deserted parking lot next to the McDonalds, then about 35 yards away there was a Wendy's. In that Wendy's lot (a scant 35-40 yards away) stood what seemed to be, by the size of them, most of the Mexico football team, including the guy who wore the paper mache bulldog head. I think he was still carrying it around.
Well, Roger - unprovoked AND unannounced - takes a few steps into the deserted lot and chucks his full coke at the Mexicans and shouts ... well, something insulting.
Time stopped for a split second as the coke tumbled end over end and then splatted on the pavement, thankfully well short of our erstwhile opponents. They contemplated the scene for just a beat: Here were 4 or 5 skinny-assed Trojans mouthing off to their muscle-bound mob, not to mention the sheer indignity of having had a tub o' pop hurled in their general direction.
As they began to pick up momentum crossing the lot, I cannot describe the panic that enveloped our little group. Jerry was fumbling for keys, and we were all jockeying for position in the questionable security of the vehicle. Somehow Jerry remembered to unlock the hatchback first and roger tumbled in as we all grabbed a seat. Suddenly Roger was yelling, "I can't shut the door, I can't SHUT THE DAMN DOOR." To our horror we realized that one cannot shut the hatch of a ford escort station wagon from INSIDE. (Did I mention the angry Mexicans running in our direction, still smarting from the resounding spanking they got on the court and the more recent sass received at the hand of some smart assed kid in a parking lot.)
So, risking life and limb (Roger still owes me a big one here) I exited the (relative) safety of the back seat, slammed the hatch, and jumped back in. Jerry gunned it...but we were far from in the clear.
Because the lot was a one-way in-and-out situation, we had to continue all the way around the store. Those freaking Mexicans...how can I describe the sheer hate and malice shinning hot in their eyes. There were several who chased the car around the lot, and others that hurdled over the 3 foot iron fence around the McPlayground. I remember that several of them cleared the fence just as we passed by the far side of the playground and they tried to PUNCH through the car windows. Roger was cowering on the far side of the far back; Jeff was pushed over into my lap practically. We all just about Mcshit our pants.
The rest of the way home we couldn't be too hard on Rog since he was curled up in the fetal position, his life having just passed before his freaking eyes.
Remember the story about Roy, Roger & Jeff and the nervous, almost frantic, nonstop laughter after I nearly drove us off the cliff into the creek. The car was filled with that sort of laughter about half the way home.
Truly one of the finest near-death memories that I recall from my HS years.
Does anyone else remember this, and do I have the details correct (I may tend to take artistic license a bit, you know, for the sake of a good tale).
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Do any of you remember riding in the back of a pickup truck and throwing a bunch of bottle rockets on the ground in the city park? The guys in the front were Dan and Jamie (last names withheld to protect the guilty). There was some girl there that really liked Dan.....now I don't remember why, but me and this legendary person threw the bottle rockets on the ground (as per Dan's request) and BULLSEYE!!! They all went towards our target. A couple of them got in their cars and chased us down third street (then a gravel road). Now if you're saying, "What a jerk! Those poor people" You're right! I'm no longer proud of what we had done. It was dangerous and stupid...but it was a wild time.
This same person let me come visit him at his college dorm. I'll never forget his karate kick that broke the chair. And also during that trip...I drank the worst beer I ever had. We were given a five pack of Drury's. It was a six pack at first but the person giving it to us didn't like it either. We poured a beer into a cup and the foam was green! We drank a little bit of it, dumped it out and gave away the four pack. I was a senior and he was a freshman in college and we GAVE IT AWAY! That's how bad it was.
I also remember being stuck in a ditch with this person. Scared because the car wouldn't start and the people we were with already left. Luckily the car started and all turned out well.
I'm sure once I post this there will be many more memories...But these are the ones I thought about today.
Monday, February 21, 2005
I thought Little E (that's Dale Earnhart, Jr.) was going to pull off the victory yesterday before pretty boy Gordon came from nowhere.
My NASCAR experiences:
My first experience with NASCAR was in Orlando, FL in 1992 during an internship for General Motor's at Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center. GM had lots of neat cars on display there. The name of GM's pavilion was World of Motion and it featured a short ride with animatronics that depicted the evolution of wheeled travel from walking caveman, to the Egyptian wheeled cart, to Roman chariots, to the modern vehicle. After leaving the ride, the guests entered the "Concept to Reality" portion of the pavilion. Here GM displayed its futuristic concept cars like the ones you might see at the autoshow on rotating platforms under bright spotlights. I remember an SUV type vehicle that showed two kids playing video games in the backseat--concept became reality there! Also on display was a show about alternative engines, like the hy-brid you see in CA today. There are other fuel alternatives as well--such as the hydrogen (or water) engine. As guests moved down the "transcenter", they filtered into an area much like a dealership showroom where we would inform people about GM's current products. Saturn's were brand new that year and everything from their no-haggle sales concept to the dent resistant polymer on the doors, bumpers, and quarter panels were hot topics. A buddy and I even sent some marketing research papers back to Saturn that year as millions of worldwide visitors we interacted with kicked the tires of this new product line.
NASCAR comes into play because we had Darrell Waltrip's #17 backup car, a Chevrolet Lumina, on display for some period of time. It was a topic of conversation as the only Stockcar in the entire pavilion. I probably have some photos somewhere of my friends and I behind the wheel imitating DW. We used to sneak into the cars and take photos after the park closed. This was the only stockcar I recall coming through while I was there. I do remember it was easier getting in and out of than the Lotus race car--that one (non-NASCAR) was tiny.
My second experience was while employed by Hershey Chocolate in 1995-1996. Hershey ran (and still does have, although the drivers have changed) promotional advertising for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups through it's Reese's Racing marketing campaign with NASCAR. Through this program, I was able to have one of Bill Elliott's cars on display at grocery stores in Lawrence and Topeka, KS. It was Elliott's #94 Ford Thunderbird. When you looked at the car, it was easy to tell that McDonald's was the main sponsor of the car and Reese's and Amoco were secondary major sponsors. I've got photo's I took of this car and the crew that traveled with it. We set up a large candy display and ran a little promo--buy 6 candy bars (3 for $1) and get a free Bill Elliott poster. Meanwhile, the crew spoke with customers answering their questions and telling NASCAR stories.
I don't remember which of the two cars it was above--either Elliott's or Waltrip's, but one of them was a backup car to one of the drivers who crashed into a wall at one of two tracks--either Bristol or the Brickyard. I think the driver had 3 vehicles...crashed one, was driving a backup, and this was their final backup that season? can't remember the exact details....seems like it was Elliott but time's playing tricks on my memory.
I'm not a huge NASCAR fan, but I do watch the Daytona 500 and once in a while I might catch another race like Winston Cup. I'm so little of a true fan though I have one more story to tell. I found this little snippet while searching to see if I could find online photo's of the cars above (which I did find, but did not bookmark..you can search for photos if you want, they are out there). The snippet is this e-mailer to nascar.com was wanting to know how much value his Bill Elliott #94 hat has as a collectible. The punch line is that I have one of these from the Hershey promos and I've found the "Reese's" orange to be a perfect "hunter orange" color. I have deer hunting photo's where my hat is proudly displayed protecting my noggin. I thought that was funny since someone else deemed it valuable enough to ask its worth on nascar.com. Perhaps I should put it on eBay.
"Q: I have a Bill Elliott Reese's Racing No.94 hat. I went to the Dover race and went to Bill's trailer to buy his die-cast car. The man at the trailer asked me where I got the hat. He told me only his crew had them. Can anyone tell me about the hat? My brother got it from Dick Trickle'ss gas man. -- Mike Grierson
A: This cap is certainly not as plentiful as some other hats, but I've seen quite a few around. So, I doubt seriously its distribution was limited to the crew. It was probably given out as a promotional by Reese's. The set-up costs for making a hat are fairly high, so it makes sense to do a lot of them if you're going to do them at all, Hats don't carry a high collectible value, but since this one is a little unique, I'd say it is worth $15-25."
One hat, slightly worn. Any bidders?
Saturday, February 19, 2005
Daytona is Sunday. I wish I was there. The last race I went to I saw this dangerous looking tailgater in the parking lot. I took this picture of him while we was visually undressing people of the opposite sex. If you should see him...do not approach him. Hide your girlfriend and call the police immediately.
Friday, February 18, 2005
Anyway. One day Jamie and I were hanging around the halls after school - probably for no good reason, when we happened to see Klopstein smoking a cigarette in the office. (IN the office - my GOD, how times have changed). Well, for sure this was real gold and would make it easier to tease her mercilessly. So she came out of the office, painfully aware of being "outed" with her cig habit, and we followed her all the way back to her classroom totally harassing her. She was trying to hold it together and not give us the pleasure of a scene, but right in front of her door she lost it! She turned on her heal and squinted her eyes at me, balled her fists, and literally hissed, "I swear to God, Arrigo, sometimes I wish you were a bug and I could just SMASH you under my foot!!!" To this she added a grinding, stomping motion with her foot.
Well, I was rather taken aback by this display, as you might guess, but it did make for a funny story, even 20-odd years later. I hope she is well and I do regret the many hardships we caused her.
WAIT - that wasn't even Jamie that was with me that time, it was Greg Belk. How could I have forgotten?? Maybe I should have told the story about Jamie and I walking into one of her classes and demanding her car keys so that I could go get money from the bank. Jamie was going to buy tickets to REO Speedwagon that night and I had to give him cash.
...She really didn't want to give us her car keys, but we were pretty persistent. I doubt that little scene bought her much respect in the eyes of her class. (that is a story few people believe, but I swear it's true and Jamie can back me up).
Which brings me back to my original question: Anybody heard from Jamie?
Jeff and his wacky family win the "Wacky Family Award" from the Lincoln County Journal. HIs lovely wife, Lania, is right above him. Joel (13) and Daniel (11) are kneeling in front. This photo gives you lots of insight into why Jeff is the person he is today.
Carl Edwards spun twice at Richmond ('04) but still finished in sixth place. I will be rooting for Carl this weekend at Daytona. He's a young Nascar driver from Columbia, MO.
If you are in or around Troy on Sunday join my family and me at Myron's House for the race. I hear Lexi has something special planned for us.
Willa will be rooting for Jimmie Johnson in the 48 Car.
Thursday, February 17, 2005
Now, on to the interesting email I received today. I was having a great afternoon and then I found this in my inbox.
"I am e-mailing you in regard to missing class this week. To be honest I was not sick or anything like that. I pay for all of my own school and everything else while I am in school so I work a lot. I bartend down here and sometimes do not get off until three or four o'clock in the morning. I usually work on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I worked this Monday and Wednesday and did not make it to class this week. I extremely apologize and I want you to know this will not be a habbit, this was just a really rough week. I know there is probably no way to make up the test but I was wondering if there is anything I could do to recieve some points. I really appreciate your cooperation and thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
I gave a test on Tuesday. The student missed it as you have read and missed one of the days they had to teach. Right now the student is out of 70 points out of 250.
Anyone want to help a fella out? Want to know where you can get free drinks for an "A"?
Laugh or cry?
First, I'd like to encourage any and all of the readers out there to comment. The people who comment now are leaving great stuff. Many of the comments are better than the posts. My buddy Jeff has left some snippets of verse when he's felt inspired. I love it. It's really an opportunity for each of us to play a little larger role in the lives of people we care about and will never get to see enough.
I loved seeing that airport through Howdy's eyes. I loved being able to respond. I enjoyed the comments left on both of our posts.
Second, I think we should continue with Howdy's idea of introducing the children. Reading about Wade was great. Reading about all the other kids would be great, too. Many of the people signed up to contribute have children to tell us about. Let's hear it! I'll do it too.
Plus, if you aren't signed up to post on here and you want to do it, just let me know. Email me. Or call me. Or put it up in comments. All I need is your email address to invite you on board.
Basically, I just want to encourage participation. The comment process has been fixed, so it's easy and quick to leave a short comment. Posting isn't much harder than fixing up a word document.
Honestly, I've been surprised at the affection I've developed for this blog already. Really it's not for the blog. It's affection I already had for the people reading and writing this blog. I've just found a way to unlock a little bit of it.
And of course, keep the humorous anecdotes coming. We are fun to watch.
At 6:30 this morning I poked my head outside and saw only one "Star". The sun was starting to come up and the sky was brightening. This washed out all the stars, except one. The brightest one. It, of course, was the planet Jupiter. It was in the Southwestern sky.
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Sunday is Daytona! I know that most of you don't have any interest in racing. I understand..I was there. "Just making left turns!" But I got hooked and I'm not sure why. Sunday, Roger and I will be watching the race at my house. Lou said he might be there. There's also a chance that Bob may come into town. You Troy boys are invited if you're in the area (I know most of you aren't, but there's always that chance...Howdy, you live in the area!(?))
The above picture is of Michael Waltrip during last years Daytona race. He has won there twice before and is often a favorite (recently) to win. Some of the guys in my pool picked Waltrip in this race (Dave and Lou). Now I'm not hoping that the above happens again because that's just flat scary! But I'll take a little engine trouble:)
Yesterday Willa said to her Momma, "My new bus driver is mean, but I tried." Her curiosity piqued, Shelly asked, "You tried what?" Willa said, "I told him Happy Valentine's Day." "What did he say?" Shelly prodded. "He smiled and said thank you."
She's not the same kid she was back in August when we first shuffled her off to kindergarten. She would hardly speak to anyone. Now, she's engaging mean bus drivers with good wishes.
They grow up right in front of you, and you hardly realize it.
I wish the politicians could look in the faces of these people before they make their arguments. You know what they would see? They would see why they need to play it straight with the American people.
I believe that Americans can take facts and reach rational decisions. They don't need arguments puffed up like Macy's Parade balloons. Arguments held aloft only by fear.
Americans need the truth. And not just truth about why we need to go to war, but they need the truth about what war is.
When the current administration comes in a few months asking you to support the bombing or invasion of Iran, find a soldier. Look in his face. Tell me what you see.
Check out his new website (click on the tomato). And don't miss the bio.
If any of you guys make the trip up here I'll offer free lodging. I'll also offer to play golf on Saturday with you.
Don't miss it! Paul's stuff is hilarious. It's also NC-17 which I know makes it more attractive for you perverts.
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
I traveled to Atlanta today to spend a few days in meetings for my job. As I passed through the Atlanta airport, I encountered multiple groups of American Soldiers traveling through the airport. I couldn't tell if these guys were coming home or going out. They were dressed in desert combat fatigues right down to the boots and had "Airborne" patches on their arms. None of them looked tanned or sun-burned which made me think they must be shipping out vs. coming home. Matter of fact, the only burns that were apparent were the razor burns on the backs of a couple of their necks from the high & tights. There were no crying loved ones whose arms they were falling into. They were in groups waiting in lines. "When you get to security, no waiting line for you guys. First class all the way!" one of the airport attendants shouted enthusiastically. It seemed silly and almost stupid to me to hear that. What consolation. But as an airport attendant, I guess it was the gesture that he could give to try to show support.
Two of the soldiers I followed while walking carried backpacks. One backpack was desert tan, had a picture of a scorpion, and had the words "Iraq/Kuwait" on it. The other was non-discrepant. The one carrying the tan backpack seemed to have a slight limp. Was he wounded in Iraq? Was his pack too heavy? Shouldn't be, it wasn't that big. If he walked like this, should he be going to Iraq? Why does he have this backpack if he hasn't already been there? Is he a veteran of Gulf War I?
I saw 2 types of soldiers mixed throughout the groups. One set looked like guys who were in their 30's and you might see sitting at home watching weekend football. Guys who had no plans to be doing this. Were they reservists with no plans for war who sought $ for a college education and who've now been called up? The other set looked like kids in their late teens to early 20's who you might see playing PS2 or X-box and hanging out at movies together. Did these guys enlist in the military for a better future than their current environment could provide? Neither looked like the chiseled Vietnam Veterans or the steely World War II portrayals. Were these guys the ones who would be or had been running covert operations in a foreign desert? I had a hard time picturing them whispering radio messages to each other "I've got 3 insurgents in my sector!".
Strikingly apparent to me also was the contrast to these soldiers of that of a businessman in his 50's walking in front of me. He was wearing a sport coat, slacks, dress shoes and toting his wheeled carry-on behind him. I realized I was much alike short of age and probably in his category of grouping. How funny we must look to these soldiers.
The last time I flew, back in July of 04, some Army trainers from Ft. Leonard Wood were coming home from teaching soldiers in Iraq about IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices), how to spot them, how to handle and disarm them. Today, the St. Louis Airport seemed to have much tighter security than even the new heightened Post 9-11 security, yet the President, the Pope, nor any other high profile figure was coming to town. It made me wonder....are there new threats that are unpublicized? It would not be radically surprising during these times to be hit again by terrorists on American soil.
I had told myself that I would not post about the war in Iraq or the war on terrorism or engage in discussion over whether this is a war about oil, WMD, removing dictators, spreading democracy, political motives, or the safety of America. And this post is not about any of that. This post is simply about those "guys" I saw in the airport today. Everyday, I read the articles about Iraq and the soliders who are wounded, killed, or died. The articles are about "guys" like the ones I saw today. Today, I did not approach them because I did not want to "bother" them. Next time I will stop and tell them I am thinking of them. That's what I want this post to be about. I don't care if you approve or disapprove of this war, I simply ask either way that you think about these guys and what they are doing. I don't care if you think I should do more than think of them. If you approve, think of these guys. If you disapprove, think of these guys. Either way, just think of them. It's probably the very least thing they deserve.
Monday, February 14, 2005
First know that if you want to find any planets you have to face south (since we're in the northern hemisphere). Also, for the most part, they follow the same path as the sun and the moon. Aside from the Sun & the moon, Venus is the brightest object in the sky, then Jupiter. Mars is also easy to identify since it's the brightest object in it's area, plus it appears red. We'll concentrate on those first (sorry if I'm insulting anyones intelligence). One problem we'll have is that we can't identify every planet since some of them are going across our sky during the day.
In the mornings, if you head to work before the sun comes up, look to the south. You can see two planets. To the south west, the brightest object in the sky will be Jupiter. There's nothing in the sky that rivals Jupiters brightness before the sun comes up. Point to the brightest "star" in the sky and you're probably pointing at Jupiter. (Jupiter can also be seen over the Southeast horizon at about midnight)
In the Southeast part of the sky, and slightly lower than Jupiter is Mars. Again, it should be pretty bright compared to other stars and have a reddish tint to it.
Real close to Mars is Pluto but you'll have to just imagine it being there because you have no chance of seeing it. It's 40 times (40 AU's) farther from the sun than Earth is, taking sunlight over 5 hours to get there and it's smaller than our moon.
Saturn is also up. It's up in the evenings to the due south. It's a little tougher to identify since it's twice the distance Jupiter is from the sun. It's pretty cool to look at through even a cheap telescope since you can make out it's rings. With binoculars it looks like a squashed star due to the rings...making you think it's just out of focus.
Well..there it is. That's the scoop for many weeks to come. Sorry if it was to long and I hope I explained it Ok.
Just saw this article on CNN Money.com. Public news site you should be able to view by clicking link or pasting in your browser.
If you Blog from work, this is worth reading just to know what's out there.
Sunday, February 13, 2005
As bad as I feel about telling any story that will make Dave feel this proud at my expense, I know it must be told. I've never really heard who actually pulled the trigger on this attack but one thing is for sure...Dave played a major role. I'm sure Jerry also had a hand in it as well. I'm sure many of you recognize Dave's picture from his Junior year. I believe this all happened the following year. This quite possibly is the best practical joke ever played on me.
It all started some Saturday night many years ago while in High School. I had gotten up at to play in a golf tournament that day. That evening, as we had done so many Saturday evenings before, several of us acquired some beverages that were illegal for the young people that we were at the time and we preceded to consume them. Now I don’t think I had that much to drink, I thought it was the fatigue that got to me from the long day, but the facts tell that it was a combination of both. I shall procede to tell this story in the first person perspective, starting with my earliest memory.
I woke up laying on Dave's living room floor. It must've been around 2 or 3 AM. Time to go home. But my attempts at movement hindered by the fact that my shoe string had been shackled to the corner of the hide-a-bed. I have a distinct recollection of Jerry chuckling at my struggle to untie the many knots.
My next memory goes to the short set of stairs down by Dave's front door. It was there that I paused to re-tie my shoe. While tieing my shoe I decided to take another nap. Thanks Dave for waking me up and sending me on my way from there.
From here on out I have total recall. Upon arriving at my house, I enter and turn right to go to the bathroom. As I do, I hear my dad coming down the steps to let the dog out. I narrowly miss him (this becomes very important later).
Inside the bathroom I found myself staring into the mirror. At the time, I wasn't sure why, but I knew that something didn't look right. I thought, "My lips look red!" Using the towel I rub my lips to find that the towel was turning red. "Those bastards! They put lipstick on me! Very funny." But the fun was just beginning. Many seconds later, I figure out that my cheeks looked unusually pretty! Blush! After getting all of this off of me by washing my face, ect, I finally see the grand finale, they had painted my hair yellow.
Now this story isn't really told without wondering "What if?" In every person's life you have those moments in time where split seconds help to shape a person's future. What would the next few years have been like had my father been just 3 seconds faster letting that dog out. I was making no effort to hide from him. I just needed to use the restroom. How would that conversation have gone? Him seeing what I looked like....me not knowing what the hell he was talking about. I'm sure they wonder why I was taking a shower at four in the morning.
The search confirmed what we already knew, definitely 4 bald eagles sited. Michelle spotted two deer in the field out front last weekend. We're enjoying our peacful new home and the nature and wildlife that abounds.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
Some would claim Blog Daddy's fine day was due to the diligence of the Keepers of the Pastures. Efforts by them to repair tee boxes left many of the holes playing shorter than usual. While this has an element of truth, Blog Daddy knows he played well.
And while he crushed Jason, Blog Daddy thought. He thought he would make a change to his blog. He decided it would be good to fine the evil doers. They probably will learn nothing from any punishment anyway, so Blog Daddy might as well get something out of the it. Henceforth, all violations will be met with fines. Violators will be fined barbecue, beverages, and golf. Or anything else Blog Daddy finds entertaining.
Wade Mark Howdeshell
Age: Just turned 3
Current Weight: 33lbs
Current Height: 38"
Likes: Music (Kindermusic), Gymnastics (The Little Gym), Trains (he has a great wooden Thomas the Train table), Toys (they are taking over the house), Playing (wish i could harness his energy) Reading (uncanny ability to recite books after reading 1 time)
Favorite TV Shows: Wiggles, Sesame Street, Bear and the Big Blue House, Caillou, Clifford
Favorite Movie: Currently Mary Poppins, loves the Chimney Sweeps and their songs
Favorite Food: "Fruit" Salad. Actually, he loves regular salad. Calling it fruit salad is an homage to The Wiggles. Wade also enjoys steak, chicken, lobster, pizza, & hot dogs.
Favorite Snack: Fruit Snacks-can be Dragon Tales, Blues Clues or any other. Also loves Gum (thanks, mama nita!) Mini-muffins, ice cream, cookies......well those of you with kids understand.
Favorite Drink: Strawberry Milk or Apple Juice
Favorite Song: There are many. "Rolling Down the Sand Hill"-The Wiggles, "In My Room, I go Boom Boom Boom"-Ernie of Sesame Street, "Chim Chiminey"-Mary Poppins "Hey Mr. Knickerbopper"-Barney "Home On the Range"-The Wee Sing Train
Favorite Book: Bear Snores On, Shoes, Nemo book set, The Big Red Barn, Hippos Go Beserk, Too many to name. And, he can "read" almost all of them to you.....verbatim
Favorite President: George Washington (he even voted for Washington this year)
Unique Interest: Looking for waterfountains with Mom (aerated ponds along highways and subdivisions, loves the indoor waterfall at The Galleria Mall); Feeding birds with Dad.
Dislikes: Buttons and tags on clothes. We have to cut tags out of all shirts and he refuses to wear clothes with buttons on them.
Favorite Concert: The Wiggles. He's also been to Barney and Sesame Street Live.
Favorite Computer Game: All the Disney on-line games. Jo Jo's Circus, Pooh-Find the Heffalump, and Shadow from Bear & Big Blue House. & The Shanna Show.
Best Vacation: Disneyworld last year. I'm sure we'll have to go back when he's older and "Boom Boom" comes along.
Wants to Be: A farmer like Papa Charlie when he grows up. Wade says you need lots of land and some beans.
Take's with him: Wade says you need to take angels and beans with you anywhere you go.
Named after: Both Mom and Dad. Wade is based off of Michelle's Maiden name "Wehde", phonetically the same. Plus we thought "Wade" was a neat name anyway. Middle name-Mark.
So, Wade is just like all other kids but with his own personality. He's got a great outlook on everything and is a wonderful influence on the world. He's a friend to all. So, I'm happy to have had this chance to help you get to know him better.
Friday, February 11, 2005
And he will think.
But he won't be thinking about the blog's intentions. Not at all. He will be thinking about how the impudent one is toiling away in his little office while Blog Daddy basks in the early spring sun. Yes, he will think deeply.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
While recently looking at yearbooks, I couldn't help but to notice the number of times Lou is in there. He truly was involved in a great deal of activities. I think it is obvious that he was talented. The question is, was he the "Most Talented"? I ask you to refer to pages 30 & 31 of the 1986 yearbook. Notice that on both pages there is a picture of two "Most Talented" people. Is there some sort of conspiracy here? Which picture is correct? I don't know Dawn and Steve (p30's talented people) very well, so I can't answer that. I do know that if I were to try and pass myself off as "Most Talented" I too would've grabbed the talented lead actress who played "Dorothy" from the Wizard of Oz and had my picture taken with her. Was Lou on the yearbook crew? This trickery may have gone almost 20 years before being noticed, but I believe an investigation is in order.
Jeff would be on probation too for committing fantastical tales to the blog and pretending they have some basis in reality. But since he tried to burn his house down to get on the blog, he built a rather large store of blogger immunity.
Of course the harshest punishment will be dealt out to Howdy. He dared to impugn the integrity of the Great Albert. A voodoo doll is being created in his likeness. Giant six-inch needles are being purchased. With these tools I will mete out the horrible, painful punishment until he begs to be sent to Gitmo where he belongs.
During their punishments all will be allowed to continue posting. Keep in mind, any further violations of the undocumented, ever-changing blog rules, will result in much harsher penalties.
In addition to these punishments I am arming myself to fight. I will be heading to the Walgreen's scanner with my yearbooks. Be very afraid. You could be next.
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
The Troy Men's basketball team occasionally (every week?) had mandatory Saturday practices. One Friday night, undaunted by his early morning responsibilities to BHS sports, Rog decided to spend the night and get loaded at my house. It was a cold night, and for those of you who remember the Arrigo farmhouse, it was only about 15 degrees warmer in my bedroom than it was outside. So, we had a kerosene heater upstairs.
After about 5-10 beers Roger was stumbling (literally) around my room and catching himself on various stationary objects - desks, beds, dressers, etc. He must have caught himself on the red-hot top of the heater at one point just before we hit the hay. My brother had arrived home at about midnight and demanded silence since he had to work in the morning, also. So we turned out the lights and settled in.
About every 2 or 3 minutes Roger would sit up in bed and start moaning, "ooooh, my hand, my hand, ow, ow, ow, ow" and we would hear blowing noises. then he would mumble and slowely sink back into a sort of troubled slumber. I had NO idea what was going on and my brother and I were laughing our butts off and thinking he was just cutting up. After about 20 minutes or so of this, when it was no longer funny to my brother, I took rog downstairs and realized what had happened (I think he was too drunk to realize himself, but I could tell by the many large blisters that he must have fried it on the heater). I doctored him up as much as possible, which wasn't much considering I was also a bit tipsy.
Roger not only had to suffer the indignities of a hangover the following morning at practice - he also had to use that hand to shoot, pass, & dribble. Ah, the devotion!
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
For the slight sum of a few $K's, my brother-in-law enjoyed the pleasure of playing with and against some former Cardinal big leaguers for a few days. Take note lady musers, this was his 40th birthday gift from his lovely wife. He romped about with the likes of some well knowns like The Mad Hungarian, Bob Forsch, Jose Oquendo, and a few other Cardinal "Legends". He spoke humbly about playing the field and was a bit more braggadocios about hitting a line drive double off the famed pitcher Ricky Horton. But, the best story he told was this:
He approached Whitey Herzog and asked, "Whitey, How old do you think Pujols really is?" The White Rat wrinkled his brow and gruffed "When Albert was being looked at in the Dominican, he was considered to be a junior in college. When he came here to the States, he enrolled as a sophomore in high school. He's gotta be around 30". The story goes on.
My brother-in-law later approached Red Schoendienst and said, "Red, now you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but, how old do you think Albert Pujols really is?" Red craftily replied, "You might want to ask Whitey about that." My brother-in-law winked, chuckled, and replied, "I already did."
Pujols' stat sheet shows his birthdate: Born: January 16, 1980 - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic That would mean he just turned 25. Pujols--Man or Boy? Discuss amongst yourselves.
He will post about whatever he wants. If you know him, you know that he always does whatever he wants anyway. He will be our first token conservative. We're hoping to get at least one more. Despite his pleas for a 'fair and balanced' blog, I think he'll probably spend more time on humorous anecdotes than he will arguing politics.
So ladies and Gentleman, Here's Howdy!
Remember Howdy, we want to see some pictures of Wade!
For my first Post, I thought it would be enlightening to peel back Rog's Blog site title "Musings". An interesting fact, if you do a Yahoo search for Seamhead Blog, Roger's Musing's site comes up as the #1 listing. I found that intriguing and quite an accomplishment since there are so many other "Seamheads" and "Muse" website references and eletronic namings. To participate in Musings, I felt one should at least know the textbook defintion. The following was obtained from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:
"Main Entry: 1muse Pronunciation: 'myüzFunction: verbInflected Form(s): mused; mus·ingEtymology: Middle English, from Middle French muser to gape, idle, muse, from muse mouth of an animal, from Medieval Latin mususintransitive senses1 : to become absorbed in thought; especially : to turn something over in the mind meditatively and often inconclusively2 archaic : WONDER, MARVELtransitive senses : to think or say reflectivelysynonym see PONDER- mus·er noun "
It is quite a name, Roger, this Musings of yours. Socrates and Aristotle would be proud. I look forward to serving you and your readers with occasional postings of interest, sharing, opinion, information or debate. Muse on.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Sunday, February 06, 2005
I'm sure, given time, I'll think of a really good story. But for starters, the first thing that comes to my mind was a time when I came to Warrensburg to visit all the Troy boys back when we were in college. I got to Roger & Lou's house and Roger wasn't there. Lou started to wonder where Roger was since he had been gone a long time. We also wondered who had been in the car accident that we could see up the street (Hwy 13). Lou eventually hopped into his car and drove to find out. You guessed it...it was Roger. Good news is that he was ok. Jerry's car wasn't.
What do you remember about that Roger? Lou?
Anybody else have a classic to share? What about that famous story when Roger and Howdy were going to get beat up? You gotta tell that one Roger.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Friday, February 04, 2005
Thursday, February 03, 2005
His focus will be science, politics, his lovely kids (Abby and Alexis), his lovely wife, NASCAR, and the lack of competence in my golf game. He will be focused like a laser on all kinds of different things.
If you find his posts insulting, go hit a bucket of balls. And then sign up to blog against him.
We will probably relax the grooming standards since we've already had to make an exception. But we still prefer Bald Guys.
Anyway, what was I doing? Oh yeah, introducing the new guy.
Here he is ladies and gentleman, The Great and Powerful Myron!!!!
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
It's real easy to use. It has most golf courses in there so you don't have to know the slope and rating. All you have to do is click on the course and enter your score. It also gives you the option to save the courses that you play frequently for future entries. It's pretty nice.
If you want to use it, go to:
On that page you should see a deal on the right that says "your game". Under that, a link that says "handicap tracker". Go there and you're on your way.
When you have the chance to join a group enter group number: 19633
groupname: bald vs beautiful
Hopefully those directions get you there. If not, email me and I'll help (and edit these directions)
I know it figures the handicaps accurately once you enter 20 scores (18 hole rounds). Until then, it's not entirely accurate. When you figure your handicap, you should only take the top 10 scores out of 20. Before you get 20 rounds in, you should only count your top 50% of your scores or so. This site takes your top ten scores all the time making your handicap seem higher than it should be. So those guys that don't have 20 rounds should have a lower handicap than this shows, forcing us to give them more strokes (cheaters!).
Let me or Roger know if you need any help,
Howdy is thinking about posting some info about the lastest rounds of space exploration. Encourage him to do so. Maybe Myron and Lou could help him.
Jamie is looking for guys interested in a golf trip to the Lake area in April. Contact him if you are interested. Of course I've already let him know that I'm definitely interested.
I'm still looking for people who want to blog with me. It's really simple. You don't need any html knowledge. There's even a nice IM app which publishes the pics for me. Come on! I want to see some of your kids too! Contact me if you're interested.
And for my lovely wife, I read this today. Donald Driver told the press that he thinks Brett Favre will retire. I know that will be hard for Shelly and her family. They watch Brett play with the same wonder and joy that Willa and I have when we watch Pujols play. I hope they get one more year.