Thursday, March 31, 2005

Friday Song

I am posting this tonight because it is unlikely I will have time to do it on Friday.

As you may or may not know, I recently spent a year in Charlottesville, Virginia, in order to obtain some additional training in my medical specialty. This part of Virginia, as well as the rest of the state, is exceptionally beautiful and rich in American history, and I highly recommend visiting if possible. I think they even race cars there! Charlottesville is just east of the Blue Ridge Mountains and about 25 miles from Shennendoah National Park, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offer fabulous vistas and lots to do for outdoor lovers. Unfortunately for me, however, the forces that be conspired to keep my wife and two sons in Missouri during this period of time. This song is about that year.


Well I watched you, I watched you get on that plane
And I could barely, I could barely stand the pain
It's a long flight back to those mountains blue
And my head is hurtin cause I'm missing you
Well it's four more weeks till I'm home again
I hope some day, son, you'll understand
Cause I don't want to feel this way anymore
Yes I'm mountains blue, yes I'm mountains blue
Yes I'm mountains blue cause I'm missing you

I headed east to cross those mountains blue
Alone with just my thoughts and memories of you
My apartment was nothing but a cold, hard floor
And there was no one there to greet me when I opened the door
My only salvation hung there on the wall
Hearing your voice at night, when you would call
Now I came home from time to time, but things weren't the same
The leavin was always there, weighing on my mind

Well I watched you, I watched you get on that plane
And I could barely, I could barely stand the pain
It's a long flight back to those mountains blue
And my head is hurtin cause I'm missing you
Well it's four more weeks till I'm home again
I hope some day, son, you'll understand
Cause I don't want to feel this way anymore
Yes I'm mountains blue, yes I'm mountains blue
Yes I'm mountains blue cause I'm missing you

It was a long cold winter and it rained all spring
But the sun was shining the weekend you came
Well, it felt so good to hear you, to hear you laugh
And three days never went by, never went by so fast
I bet you don't remember climbing those mountains blue
But that's why the always make me think of you
Well, you had to go, you had to fly away
And I can't forget the look on your face, as I

I watched you, I watched you get on that plane
And I could barely, I could barely stand the pain
It's a long drive back to those mountains blue
And my heart is achin cause I'm missing you
Well it's four more weeks till I'm home again
I hope some day, son, you'll understand
Cause I don't want to feel like this ever again
Yes I'm mountains blue, yes I'm mountains blue
Yes I'm mountains blue cause I'm missing you

Now I'm back home and things are right
I'm there to tuck you into your bed each night
Any you fall asleep so fast cause you know I'm near
Seems you've forgotten all about that year
Well it's hard to say if leaving was right or wrong
But I didn't think one year would be so long
I thank my stars every night that I'm back with you
Instead of living in the shadow of those mountains blue

I watched you, I watched you get on that plane
I could barely, I could barely stand the pain
It's a long drive back to those mountains blue
And my heart is achin cause I'm missing you
Well it's four more weeks till I'm home again
I hope some day, son, you'll understand
Cause I don't want to feel like this ever again
Yes I'm mountains blue, yes I'm mountains blue
Yes I'm mountains blue cause I'm missing you

And I don't want to feel like this ever again
Yes I'm mountains blue, yes I'm mountains blue
Yes I'm mountains blue cause I'm missing you

That's the year in a nutshell! I'm glad it's over.


The Contender (historical anecdote-perk the ears MD)

Last night I watched my 3rd episode of Sly Stallone's reality show "The Contender". I was entertained by young up and coming boxers getting their dream shot at a championship bout by working their way through the tournament ranks on the show. The show is enhanced with slow motion footage of the action when powerful blows are landed and enhanced with an audio input ,"pow", as the gloves connect with their target.

The deal is that The Contender is a tv enhanced knock off of a real life bout from the HS days.

Can anyone recant the great Mid-80's middleweight championship of Troy? They trained for 6 weeks before fight day.

12 rounds, Troy Sanctioned Rules
The fight location--McCollum's garage. Fighting out of the blue corner was Powerful Pretty Putting. And out of the red corner, The Guam Bomb.

I think Mitch Wilkins, the basketball coach, had some opinions of the fight.

Seamhead, you may be the only one on the Blog who can recall the fight...hmm, or maybe you can't remember anything after that day.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Troy Update

Just an F.Y.I careful going down main street. There's a new three way stop sign at Boone Street. I've only run it once:)

Also, there's a new intersection on Boone Street going the other direction, right before you get to hwy 47. It was put there to handle a new neighborhood and the new elementary schools.

I was reading some Lincoln County magazine that's put together, I think, by the Chamber of Commerce (Funny thing is that Amy's Aunt in Chicago was the one that had it and I saw it while there last week). It says that our current population is over 9,300. Quite the change from 3,300 that we had while we were in high school.

I'll never forget driving home my freshman year with Howdy. It was about 1 in the morning, pouring down rain, when Howdy says (or maybe it was me), "What's that green light?" ...refering to the first stop light at the corner of Lincoln Drive and Hwy 47.

Remember when Burger King opened. Doubling the number of burger chain stores?

Also, our football coach resigned. We'll be getting another one of them. Too bad too. This guy was a good guy and good coach.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Guam Boonie Peppers, Snakes, & Shrews

A colleague of mine was talking about Guam the other day. He was stationed there for a while in the military. He said the 3 things that stood out in his mind were the Boonie Peppers, Snakes, and Shrews. I said I would ask my friend Seamhead about these things from his perspective based on family heritage. I recall from back in the day, Seamhead's mother's incredible Guamanian BBQ. NOTE--Anyone reading this post on peppers, snakes, and shrews must also read the link further below titled A MUST SEE SLIDESHOW.

But Seamhead, what of the Boonie Peppers, Snakes, and Shrews?
Boonie Peppers

Brown Tree Snakes


And I found this posting interesting on the Shrew website. I found this posting interesting because I have what are known as "Voles" . The post is interesting because a neighbor told me that once he kills a vole, he burys it and it seems to attract other voles in its family. Now maybe that is sad for the poor little voles, but it is interesting if true for both voles and shrews.

"I live in Guam, and we have a terrible time with all of the shrews here. They get into everything and leave feces everywhere! I have discovered that the most effective way of catching them in a trap is to use another dead shrew. Why is that? When I kill one in the shed, by the time I get back from the house with a baggie to pick it up, it has been moved across the shed (about 5 feet). They seem to like to recover their dead--is this a common trait in shrews? Please email me if you know anything about this--Oh, and if you also might know what type of shrew this is here in Guam, there are no pictures resembling ours on the shrew site--Jase."

And, while these 3 things that stand out in one person's memory may be part of the Guam experience, here are some other views of Guam.

A MUST SEE SLIDESHOW--I don't know who's pictures these are, but it's worth the 10 minuts to run the slideshow on this link. An incredible look at Guam and you may even see Seamhead riding an Ox if you watch it all the way through.

Guam girls

Guam water and mountains


Monday, March 28, 2005

Making Cookies with Isa

I'd like to you all to meet Isa. Unlike Willa, there are plenty of you who haven't met her. She is quite hilarious. She doesn't really like to play with toys. She likes computer games, musical instruments, and audio-visual equipment. She will play with a toy if it happens to be one that Willa wants. She loves dogs and cats.

Isa turned 17 months old on the 23rd of March. She already likes to play tricks on people. She'll pretend she's going to give you something, and then she'll turn and run, giggling the whole time.

She already loves singing, dancing, and clapping along to music. She loves eating. She loves helping out in the kitchen. She loves being outside.

The best part of having two children is watching them together. Nothing makes Blog Daddy's heart warmer than watching them make each other laugh.

The last few weeks Isa is having an explosion in her vocabulary. Sometimes words fly out that she didn't even expect. She looks so excited when that happens. When you give her something (especially food) she says 'taytoo.' And it's the sweetest little 'thank you' you could ever hope to hear.

P.S. Her name is prounced 'eesa' like Lisa without an L. Posted by Hello

Did You Know?

NCAA Final 4 Tickets on Ebay are ranging from $250 to $8000 for a pair of seats to all 3 games of the Final 4 with the average prices ranging between $600-$800. All tickets priced from $250 to $800 come with complimentary "nose-kerchiefs" and include the option to purchase binoculars.

Friday, March 25, 2005

I want my name up thar!

This is a shameless bid to get my name in the contributors column.

Jeff makes shameless move
all the world sucks air (gasp, gasp)
was it a faux pas?

Friday Song #3

A Sister or A Brother

If I didn't have a sister I would have never learned to walk
Who would've held my little hand,
who would've taught me how to talk?
who would've stood at the bottom of the slide in the park?
Who would've calmed my fears in the lonesome bedroom dark?

If I didn't have a sister
who knows what I would have done
Oh, but I did...
I had a sister

I was the student in her classroom
the patient on her gurney
the keeper of secrets
the hitchiker on her journey
I was the backup family singer for her bubblegum fans
I was the actor when she needed someone to play a man

If she didn't have a brother
who know's what she would have done
Oh, but she did...
She had me

Now it wasn't always easy,
there were lots of screaming fight
head to head, nose to nose,
each one demanding he was right
we fought over affections, bycicles and kites
Babysitters never came back after just one night...

[this is a "talky" part (sort of with a melody to it) and tends to change with the audience, but goes something like this]

This would be a good time to introduce you to my brother
you see there was me, my sister, then there was another,
you may not have siblings but I think you will agree
There is no number as unstable as the number three
you know three don't play fair, three likes to fight
and three rarely pays much attention to wrong or right...

(etc., a story which goes on for awhile about how I chose which sibling I would ally myself with to make sure I wasn't the 'odd man out', ending with me allying myself with Jeanne - out of fear)

We would fight and be angry
But it never lasted long
How could I stay mad? she was my sister
(and she scared the hell out of me...)

Now it's a big, big, big world and it ain't easy alone
It helps to have a brother or a sister all yer own
but if you don't have one here's what you do and say:
Go to your closest neighbor; ask one of those kids to play
your own or another - a sister or a brother
then you will have
You'll have each other.
This is one of my favorite songs, but definately a performance piece. Hard to translate to the page. How are the plans coming for Rogfest I, B. Daddy?

Baby You've Got Your Religion & Baby I've Got Mine

Passover, the crackers. Passover, the wine.
Baby you’ve got your religion and Baby I’ve got mine.
You sit in church on Sunday and I think that’s just fine.
I sit on the riverbank and cast out my fishin’ line.

You’ve got faith in, Jesus Christ, I’ve got one on the line.
We both sense the peace of God and that must be a sign.
Give a man a fish, and you’ve fed him for today, but teach
Him how to fish and he’ll surely start to pray…

Passover, the crackers. Passover, the wine.
Baby you’ve got your religion and Baby I’ve got mine.
You sit in church on Sunday and I think that’s just fine.
I sit on the riverbank and cast out my fishin’ line.

Bless us, oh Lord, in these thy gifts, that we are about to receive,
Let this be a perfect cast and help me to retrieve.
From thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen
Please, let me do it again and again.
Honey pass-over the crackers and another bottle of wine.

Passover, the crackers. Passover, the wine.
Baby you’ve got your religion and Baby I’ve got mine.
You sit in church on Sunday and I think that’s just fine.
I sit on the riverbank and cast out my fishin’ line.

God, grant me serenity to accept things I can’t change,
Like my baby’s home cooking on her stovetop range,
And the courage to change the things that I can,
Like the stink-bait in my coffee can…
And the wisdom to know the difference, Ay e yay-men.

Passover, the crackers. Passover, the wine.
Baby you’ve got your religion and Baby I’ve got mine.
You sit in church on Sunday and I think that’s just fine.
I sit on the riverbank and cast out my fishin’ line.

I’m livin in God’s country and your livin in God’s house,
Honey, let’s go find the preacher man and make you my spouse.
Our love for God, we can not hide, let’s get together and let no man divide,
This religion of ours that we both love so well.

Passover the crackers. Passover, the wine.
Baby you’ve got your religion and now what’s yours is mine.
We’ll sit in church on Sunday, and I think that’s just fine.
Long as afterwards, we can sit by the river and cast out our fishing lines..

Honey I’ve got your religion and baby you’ve got mine.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Blog Daddy Returns

After a short vacation Blog Daddy has returned. The Daddy and his family spent a few days in Springfield, IL as guest of Roy and his family. They also spent a night in Jefferson City as a guest of Rochelle and her family.

Blog Daddy was able to spend an afternoon on the golf course with his brother. More importantly, Shelly had a job interview with representatives of several school districts in Sangamon County. According to her, it went splendidly.

Blog Daddy was extremely pleased to see the songs and other posts on the blog. He was overjoyed to see the results of another ultrasound. The Daddy fondly remembers how the ultrasound brought the first realizations that something was indeed alive in there.

Blog Daddy was also thrilled to see Carl Edwards take the racing world by storm. The Daddy loved seeing the kid do the flips off of his car after he won.

The Daddy has some pictures from the vacation. He will do the long overdue introduction of Isa. He also plans some Cardinal talk in the coming week. The Cards open in Houston on Tuesday, April 5th.

For You Non-Nascar Fans

I know that most of you are NOT Nascar fans. I went more than 30 or so years being the same way. "All they make are left turns!"...ect, ect, ect. However, if I were to try and sway someone into liking the sport I would first try to get them to go to a race. Being there, hearing, and feeling the cars go by is a truly awesome experience. It's like you can feel them in your chest.

If I couldn't get a person to go to a race I would then try and talk them into watching the Bristol night race later this year. This Sunday is option number three, the Bristol 'day' race.

What makes Bristol so special is that it's a half mile track with real steep banking. That's 43 cars going over 100 MPH on a track that's only twice the size of a high school's (running/track team's) track.

The night race is cool since the cars are all shiny in the lights and there are sparks coming from underneath due to the brakes. The day race will have equal amounts of wrecking, bumping, and fender bending. Tempors will also be flaring:)

Bristol is the hottest ticket in Nascar. I think it'd be cool to even the Nascar Non-fan. Tune in for a little while and give it a shot.

Carl Edwards on KBIA

KBIA, Columbia's local NPR affiliate, is running a week-long series on Carl Edwards. The first part is on the radio right now, so I would assume that every episode will run at about 8:20 a.m. Tune in! You can listen online. GO to

Enjoy. Apparently he won two races in the same weekend - a feat that hasn't been accomplished in five years...? You would know, race fans.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Ok, so we haven't had the baby yet, but we did find out that Wade is going to have a little brother. And, that is great by all of us as we were going to be happy either way. The Lil' Howdys will have each other to play with and Mom can reuse the clothes and toys. Mission launch date targeted for Aug 10th.

The Bear's Breath Debacle, or, "The Small Time Musician's Blues"

So, I went to my Thursday night happy hour gig (at the Bear's Breath Bar & Grill) last thursday, which was St. Paddy's, as you may remember. I was slated to play from 6-8:00, a time frame that suits my age and sleep patterns. I walked in to find that a very large group of band members, ranging in age from about 12 to about 58 were setting up all over my stage. Hmmmmm.... something smelled rotten. I went over to the owner and said, "Hey Art - what the dealio with the Jackson five meets Hanson over there on my stage?"

to which Art replied, "Damn, man! didn't anybody call you? I meant to call you!"

Seems that Mr. Art had in mind an earlier, 5-7 p.m., set for Jeff, which was actually just a lie he was making up right on the SPOT because there was no way I could even get ON the stage with all their setting up and the Rush-like drum kit, etc., much less play.

So I says, "Well, I'll play for an hour, or they can push back their first set, or whatever. I'm here, that's all I'm saying."

So Art says, "let me check out the haps, and I'll get back with you."

As it turned out, he didn't want me to play, and offered to reschedule me right then and there AND to pay me my $50. I said, "WHOA, big fella. You doesn't has to pay me $50, howz about $25, just for my trouble?"

He ended up paying me $35, and I learned a big lesson in "shut yer cake hole", as you will soon see.

He invited me back in to reschedule and "have a few beers". We rescheduled for a date in April and then he left to take care of business (it was pretty busy because of St. Pats). I ordered me up a beer and sat at the bar. Hell, I didn't know anyone there besides the woman who gets plastered halfway through my set each time I play and starts screaming along, but I don't think she recognized me without my guitar.

The waitress stood behind the bar expectantly after delivering my beer. She cleared her throat...

I said, "um...I think Art is going to front me a couple of beers because of the confusion - I was scheduled to play," and I gestured at the white board of dates/artists to indicate my name on March 17. She seemed uncomfortable and then left....only to return in about 12 seconds to say, "Art says NO".

THEN, over came Art, all the kindness gone from his face, "I think I've been MORE than fair with you." ...was all he said.

To which I retorted, "well then shove it right up your ass!" and I threw the $35 back in his astonished face and stormed out, kicking over a few cymbal stands on the way!

....Um, well, it didn't really come out thataway. But I did toss the waitress a $5 and left about 3/4 of the beer sitting and walked out. I was HOT, man. I talked the guy into saving himself $15, and then he can't even friend me a beer, which probably cost him no more than about $.30!!! I was so mad I had to go meet my friend John at the Flat Branch and drink several pints to sooth my worried brow. I thought up some very mean spirited Haiku, but they have since escaped me.

The worst thing is that about 6-8 people showed up to see me. That may sound like nothing, but when almost everyone you know is married, most with children, getting that many folks to actually come out at one time is quite a big deal.

Probably a song in there somewhere. Anyway, next time I will SHUT MY FARGIN' CAKE HOLE AND TAKE THE DAMN $$$$$!!!!

Approaching 1500 Hits

Seamhead's blog continues to grow. It's about to pass the 1500 hit milestone today. Not sure how that stat compares to other blogs, but seems to be pretty significant given the short time it has existed. Analysis has shown two contributing factors to this volume are Jeffrey A's habit of posting the same thing twice and MD's repeated checking in to see if anyone has provided comments to his postings. Nevertheless, 1500 and growing.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Did You Know?

Did you know that actor Tom Hanks claims to be a relative of James Hanks, one of several possible fathers of Nancy Hanks, mother of United States president Abraham Lincoln?

Friday, March 18, 2005

Paul's Friday Song Contribution

Since Roger mentioned this song a week or so ago, I thought I would start my first Friday song posting off with it. I'd also like to mention that Jeff's Friday song idea got me thinking, and I am doing something similar on my blog, except it's with haiku. It would be awesome if you guys checked it out and submitted a haiku. Here's the song:


I know I was an accident/ I was a bastard child

Daddy left before I was born/ Before the child support was filled

Mom you always kept me in good supply of daddies along the way

I'm even counting that guy you made me call Uncle Bob/ Although I'm pretty sure he was gay

To make me fill good you always lied and told me dad got killed by a pack of goats

I don't know about that but there is one thing that I'd like to know

Did daddy have a big ass head?

Because mines as big as the moon

Did daddy have a big ass head?

Because mines all blown up like a balloon

Was he Charlie Brown or a Water Buffalo

the Elephant Man I'd like to know

Did daddy have a big ass head?

Did he use his head to flag in ships?
When he jumped real high did the sun eclipse?
When he got a hair cut was it an all day trip?

Did daddy have a big ass
Did daddy have a big ass
Did daddy have a big ass head?

Howdy's Friday Replay of Thursday's Song

America’s Pastime Time has Passed

I’m not here… to talk about my past. I wanna live my life and let the memories last.

I’ve got a…wife and kids… don’t wanna think about the things
players might have done to get world series rings.

Don’t steal the glory….. of 98, don’t compare that summer to Watergate.

I’ve got …lots of friends….. it’s not my place to see them condemned
for doing the things they might’ve done to win.

I’m not here…to talk about my past. I wanna live my life and let the memories last.

Could you repeat the question? “I think steroids is bad.” My lawyers have advised me not to discuss the past.

Retired player, forget the past. It’s only moments of time that seem to last.
Answer yes or no, a player can’t win. If I answered would things ever be the same again?

Don’t dignify the book, consider the source. I’m here to talk about the positive of course.

I’m not here to talk about the past, how much longer can this line of questioning last?

Retired player, forget the past….roll over Babe, the Pastime has passed.

Friday Song #2

Well, this isn't the one I had in mind, but I'm pressed for time since I'm leaving for KC in an hour or so. I just found this song, which I wrote after a wine-soaked evening at the home of friend Gail Underwood (who was Daniel's 2nd grade teacher), already typed out and in a file on my work computer.

Anyway. She has an interesting house with an interesting history and overall a very interesting life. Here's the song.

The Old Man in the Window

The kids are both grown Life is moving on
I woke up the morning and walked the dog alone
You got your job and it takes you away
I’ve got mine, too, but I’m missing you today
Up in Alaska the weather’s fair
But you’ve got to pack heat, you’ve got to be aware
Your sidekick carries a shotgun for the bears
But mosquitoes could carry you away

Back at home this house gets kind of lonely
The old man in the window keeps me company
He helps me know everything is OK
And he watches for your return

[chorus] The old man swings from the left to the right
Looking out the window in the summer Twilight
Checking out the joggers & the neighborhood kids
But he don’t keep nothing in his head

I can’t believe what those kids said at school
I bent over double and laughed like a fool
Wish you were home so I could tell it to you
I know that you would understand

I tried to tell the old man, he’s deaf as a book
Staring out the window, take a good hard look
I don’t know what he’s sees – he’s always mute
He won’t say a thing to me

[chorus2]The old man swings from the left to the right
Looking out the window in the summer Twilight
Checking out the joggers & the neighborhood kids
But he don’t keep nothing in his head
He’s a sentinel swinging at the end of a rope
The season’s change and the nights are getting cold
The neighborhood kids all grown and moved away
but he can’t keep nothing in his head

[bridge] Ten more days until you come back home
wish I could call you on the telephone
maybe I’ll take an all night flight
but I can’t stand to think of the old man all alone


I’ve always been the kind of person who knows
Which relative died before I hear it on the phone
Down in the parlor lights are cutting off and on
And the rocking chair is rocking on it’s own

[Chorus 2]
NOW, I want to see a tune out of Howdy, Rog, and Mr. Paul.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


I'm disgusted! I can't believe people we call friends would do this sort of thing.

I know most of you who read this blog aren't involved in this and may not understand what I'm talking about so, let me explain. Dave and Lou (let that be the last time I mention their names) are part of a NASCAR pool that I run. There are many others that you know in it like, me (of course), Roger, & Jerry. Anyway...the two previously named names that will furthermore remain nameless anytime in the future that I name names, had the audacity to CHEAT!

I'm not sure how they did it, but those guys (the two previously named names that will furthermore remain nameless anytime in the future that I name names) picked drivers that tried to cheat in last week's NASCAR race. One guy had a fuel tank that was rigged to appear full when really it wasn't (making him faster in qualifying). The other guy cheated by rigging his rear quarter panel.

Since I run this pool I'll have you know that this sort of treachery will not be tolorated! I will use this blog as my weapon and alert those that may be at risk from your attempts at deception. Cheaters never win and winners never cheat! (that comment is probably a load of crap)

Ignore me while I waste time and space

...At first glance, you may just think this is the sort of apology I make to all those with whom I have contact, but I am really just trying to figure out this html doo-hicky-mo-bob.


href=""> Jeanne is my sister

Hope this works.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The Ball Yard

I thought you guys might like to see how the construction to the new stadium is going. This picture was taken on 3-12-05 from inside the Gateway Arch. I also have a better picture of Busch Stadium closer up (by itself). If you'd like me to email it to you let me know. It's good enough of a picture that I plan to print it out and hang it in my basement. A keep sake since it'll be torn down soon. Posted by Hello

In the spirit of christ and other teachers

I was going to respond to MD's reply (about Dave giving money to the quarter hustler at the horse track), but then I decided I wanted to create a new post to get more thoughts from everyone. Thought it might get buried there since the post was several days old.

This is one of the hardest recurring questions of my life: what to do when asked for something, e.g., money, from someone (I'm thinking of the people I see on 9th street here in columbia) who is in need. I guess for the most part, the "need" they have is for another drink or whatever. But when I make a decision to not give them something because I don't agree with what they will do with it, isn't that just me making a moral judgement about their choices (a judgement that I am, really, woefully unsuited to make).

The real question is: if I am asked for something that I have in "abundance" - at least in releation to what someone else has - am I morally, religiously, or otherwise, obligated to give it, regardless of what the person wants to do with it?

Jesus did not discriminate, as far as my understanding, when asked for something. When a leper asked for healing, Jesus didn't say: "well, OK, but then I want you to say 10 hail marys and do 20 hours of community service and then start a church". OK, he did sometime either ask people to 1) talk about him or 2) not talk about him. In both cases he probably knew that the opposite of what he asked for was going to happen. I think he gave what he did because he saw suffering and he knew he could alleviate it somewhat.

so, why should I ask what the drunk on the corner wants to do with my spare change? Should I give it to him in the first place? My limited understanding of all of the teachers whom I respect leads me to think that I should...?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Night Sky Website & Trip to Chicago

If anyone is into astronomy, I found this link while tooling around on the Science Center's website:

It shows what planets are up and when. And for even more fun, scroll down to see when you can spot the International Space Station. Last fall, our neighbors and my family would run outside at the same time and see it. It's very easy to spot but you have about 1-3 minutes to see it before it dissappears. I also used to put the times up for my science class. Many kids would come in excited because they got to see it. It sounds hard but it's really easy. is also a great site for more national space news too. But I like the Science Center's since it's more regional.

Also...We're going to Chicago during spring break. Anyone have any "must see" sights? We're hitting things like; Shedd's Aquarium, Field History Museum, and Navy Pier. Anything else? I've never been there.

Jeff's Monday Greeting and Flea Market

Greetings. Here's unlucky for you: Daniel had Influenza type B about 6 or 7 weeks ago. He was really down for the count with that one. Then He just had Type A last week. Actually started Wednesday, and I took him to the Dr. Friday morning cause he was feeling pretty bad. The doctor did a flu test, which entails sticking a cotton swab up into a person's nasal passage. It really hurt him. It's hard to watch that sort of thing happen, kind of makes you feel like your chest is caving in when you see the kid you love in pain. He usually has an extremely high pain threshold. I was amazed when he got a tooth pulled at the dentist one time. He was like stone. The dentist was very impressed, but then that's probably just because he usually has wimpy people like me to deal with.

Anyway. Because I (somewhat unsuccesfully) tried to burn down my house a couple of months ago, I have been steadily replacing all of our burned up camping gear. I purchased new sleeping bags for the boys, but have since decided to get a different model.

I have the following for sale:
Two mummy-style bags, rated to 20 degrees. Cobalt blue with yellow trim. The brand is Slumberjack. Stuff size is 8" X 19", so they pack pretty tight. Could probably be smaller with a compression sack.

I'll sell for what they cost - $39.99/each. Great price for these bags. No tax, & no shipping costs will be passed on!

So, how about saving me the shipping charges to return them. Great for camping OR for kids to take to sleepovers!!!!

Anyway, thought I check and see if anyone wants them.
Friday's song will return this week. I was busy with a sick kiddo, so skipped it last week.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

At the Science Center

Posted by Hello

Inside the Gateway Arch

I just had to share these two pictures (I took about 75 of them) and the day we had Saturday. Sometimes I forget that you don't have to travel far to have a fun, cheap, vacation-like day.

We started the day by going to the St. Louis Science Center. We had a great time. We saw "Pulse" (from the makers of Stomp) in the Omnimax. The girls seem to like it even though Abby, who doesn't like anything to be loud except for herself, covered her ears the whole time. We then walked around for an hour or two and even saw a good, kid friendly presentation on Static Electricity. The girls then put on some goggles and made some "Goop." After all the fun we had I bought a membership and the guy even discounted our tickets to the Omnimax for that day ($26). That also gave us free parking ($7). This place is a trip in itself. We didn't even see half of it. We plan to go back and spend a day there.

After stopping at Hardees for lunch (~$20) we drove to the nearest metrolink station (that we could park at). The girls had never rode the train before and we didn't feel like driving into St. Louis ($7). Not wanting to wait the ten minutes between trains, we pulled the "sprint to catch the train" act (we've all done it). We arrived just in time to have the door shut right in our face. You could hear everyone on the train go "awwww." Luckily the driver saw us and reopened the door. Everyone cheered! We boarded and she immediately hit the accelerator. Amy and I, both holding girls, nearly crashed to the floor.

We then arrived at the St. Louis Gateway Arch. Metrolink drops you off right by the Arch garage, north of the Arch itself. You then have a pretty walk along the river front and underneath the Arch as you make your way to the south leg. If you ever go, plan to wait in line for about 30 minutes while they search everyone, one at a time and do the metal detector thing. We bought tickets ($26 for the four of us) and rode the Egg shaped elevators to the top. This of course was the first time the girls had ever been there. It was neat to see the Edwards Jones Dome to our right and Busch Stadium to our Left (as well as the construction of the new Stadium). You could also see the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse that I hope I don't have to go to for Federal Jury Duty in a week or so (I had to report last Monday but luckily got sent home).
The trip home was uneventful, other than the drunk guy sitting behind us in the Metrolink. He made us a little nervous at first, but he proved to be more interested in his apple pie than us.

The ultimate sign that you had a good day as a parent is when you wear your children out enough that they fall asleep on the way home:)Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

He Doesn't Talk Back With Words

He doesn't talk back with words.
He doesn't have to. Sometimes you just know. Sometimes it is obvious. Like a burning bush. Or, walking away unscathed. I've been sitting on this story for a little while now. Partly because we have been dealing with this. Partly because I wanted to establish a "poster's presence" on the blog without a bias of shock or sympathy by posting this story first. Partly to put this behind us far enough to want to even share the story very far. But I've seen my queue. He can tell us things without talking.

Why were my wife and son driving in this small car? Because the milk my son had unknowingly spilt in the "safe" car had soaked into the seat and began to smell like the stench of a dead rodent. They were only going to be out a short time, so they took the Neon. She had worked a 1/2 day at the adoption agency and he had been at grandma's house. They were on their way home. A short 13 minute ride.

It was Jan 31st, one week after Wade's 3rd birthday and Michelle's first ultra-sound on the new baby, at approx 4pm when I received the proverbial dreaded call. The phone rang repeatedly, incessantly. Someone was desparate to reach me. I answered. It was my wife's voice, strained with emotion, "We've been in a bad car accident. Come as fast as you can. It's on Hwy 79. Hurry." The line went dead. Throwing down the phone, I flew from my desk chair, grabbed my coat and ran to the car. Trying to drive as fast as possible yet maintain calm and control, I hurried down the highway when suddenly the thought hit me "Did she just call me or did she call 911?". It was at that exact moment when I reached an intersection and saw the ambulance go flying by, lights and sirens ablaze. Knowing already that it was heading to the scene of my wife's accident, I tried to follow and keep up, but the ambulance soon distanced me leaving me to maneuver through the heavy afternoon traffic. Taking the shoulder on the right at about 40mph, I honked and flashed lights at cars who were trying to sneak a peek around the stalled line in front of them. Finally, when I was close enough to see the lights of the stopped rescue vehicles ahead, I made a dash across the line and took the opposite highway lane the rest of the way to the scene.

Like a 30 second MPEG video, I still recall with vivid clarity my first view of the scene. Me running the final steps toward the ambulance, my mother-in-law standing at the back of the open door. My wife sitting inside on a cushioned bench and holding my son while a squatting paramedic was feeling Wade's legs evaulating him for injuries. No blood, no visible broken bones, no external gore that I fully expected to to see. Rescue personnel were buzzing about everywhere. The ambulance interior seemed tiny and the doorway congested with various, fire, police, and rescue personnel popping their heads in and out. Seeing my family was secure for the moment, I quickly moved to look around at the chaos. A large number of on-lookers had gathered in the flat bottom field on the east side of the highway. Morbid curiosity had drawn the trailer dwellers out of their holes. Drivers of vehicles who narrowly missed being involved in the accident huddled and hurriedly recanted what just transpired before their disbelieving eyes. The scene was charged with the the kind of energy we humans exhalt in the aftermath of a catastriphic event like a devastating storm.

As I looked about, I began to spot the wrecked vehicles. A southbound red 95 Monte Carlo with a smashed rear end, some demolished car about 40 yards into the field-trailer dwellers nearby, a silver 2002 Hyundai Sante Fe with a crushed front end resembled a half smashed aluminum can. Not until after a double take of the scene did I realize the scrap of metal remains in the field was what was left of what was once "The Neon". That was our car? My sickened stomach sank into a bottomless pit which was quite a steep fall from being stuck in my throat. Already pale from shock, my face turned ash white.


Avoid Making a Bad Situation Worse

Here is my public service message for the day. Do with it what you will.

I'm gonna tell you two names. You can probably figure out what I'm going to say once you read them: Terri Schiavo. Nancy Cruzan. You see where I'm headed. Nancy Cruzan was 25 when the car wreck occurred that changed her life; Terri Schiavo was 26 when she entered the condition now at the center of the battle in Florida.

I received an e-mail today from The Missouri Bar. The bar president's mother-in-law had Alzheimer's. He is trying to prevent other families from experiencing the implosion that often occurs when making important health decisions for another family member who has become incapacitated. The bar encourages people to "establish[] advance directives regarding future health care decisions" to "ensure that a person's wishes are met" and to "relieve families from having to make difficult decisions at a time of great stress."

If these goals interest you, and you live in Missouri, you might want to download the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Care Directive forms and the accompanying HIPAA form provided and recently revised by The Missouri Bar.

The form compiled by the bar is generic, so it does not necessarily meet everyone's needs. If you think it will work for you, then you should gather 'round your loved ones and talk about it. That's what my hubby and I will be doing this weekend. Please don't wait until it's too late.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Flashback: Troy Boys Classic 2002

I've recently had "Blogger's Cramp." It's a fear of posting and not receiving any comments. Never knowing exactly what to say for fear of sounding stupid. A phobia of posting something nobody is interested in.

Recently, after seeking council from Seamhead and watching several episodes of Dr. Phil, I'm taking this baby-step forward. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I figure that this post/picture is worth about 8,000 words!Posted by Hello

Congrats, ye Packer Fans!

I just wanted to say congratulations to all my faithful readers who are Packer fans. I know you are excited (relieved?) to hear that Brett Favre is returning for at least one more season. I'm also glad to hear his wife is doing well in her cancer treatments.

It's always fun to watch Favre play, but what about the time between now and then? Will the Brewers make the time pass quickly? Or will they will make the time pass in the excruciating fashion that the solution drips from an I. V. Bag?

Too bad they have to play the Cardinals so much.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Mouths of Babes

Our Pastor, Dale, said during the Taize Service tonight that his son Will had asked him what God looks like. It shook me a little because yesterday Willa asked me if anyone had ever seen God. As Dale said, "What do you tell a child? What do you tell yourself?"

I told Willa I had never known anyone who had seen God. In fact, I suspect most people would rather not run into him. "Why?" she asked with complete innocence. I told her it was bit like the mascots. They are exciting and she loves them, but when she gets right up face to face with them, she trembles with fright. God would be like Truman the Tiger and Fred Bird and Mo the Mule and all the other mascots rolled up into a mascot the size of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

I thought this might scare her considering her fear of mascots, but she kept going. "Has anyone ever talked to God?"

People talk to God all the time. That's what prayer is.

"Does he talk back?"

He doesn't talk back with words. I think he knows how frightening that would be. He can tell us things without talking. Well, he could, I guess, if we were quiet enough, if we slowed down enough and if we paid enough attention.

In the end Dale was right. We don't know much more than the children. We've come so far and learned so little. When you answer those surprisingly prescient questions from the mouths of babes, pay close attention to your answer. You'll probably learn something.

UPDATE: Check out Andys's blog to see the wisdom of his son.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My Grandpa

Yesterday, my friend Boz sent me a link to a great column about World War II veterans. On the surface this may not seem like much. But I thought this blog would be a perfect place to tell you what Boz has done for my family and my Grandpa.

My Grandpa was a POW during World War II. He didn't like to talk about it much. He did show us a little book that he wrote in while he was in the prison camp. I remember seeing line after line of the foods he loved to eat. That's about all I knew.

Then I was talking to Boz one day and discovered he was involved in a project looking to document the stories of these POWs. He told me that he interviewed the POW and added his account to the archives. I decided it would great if my Grandpa was able to give his story to Boz.

Boz interviewed my Grandpa and put together a transcript for him to review. My Grandpa reviewed it. I found out the last time I was home that he will be getting a bound copy. Everyone in our family will be able check it out.

So I just want to say, Boz, you the man. I'm really looking forward to reading that transcript.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The Governator

This sounded too much like a real life Jack Handy not to post.

"I don't need any money; I have plenty. This is why it is easier for me to take this money."
- GOV. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, on political fund-raising.

The Darn Tiggers

The season was already lost for the Tigers, but it is always nice to see the Jayhawks go down. There will be no one seed for the Jayhawks. Now, I can root for them to lose in the first round of the NCAA tourney. Do you think Quinn saved his job yesterday? Do you think he deserves another year at the helm?

It was a nice college basketball day in Missouri yesterday. In addition to MU's Flaming Jayhawk, the SMS Bears served up some Fried Saluki in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The Bears will play the Creighton Blue Jays for the conference title tonight at 8 pm on ESPN.

And to top off yesterday's basketball, the CMSU Mules, under the guidance of former MU star Kim Anderson, won the MIAA conference tournament for the first time in 21 years. They also won the regular season title and are in the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time since 1997. The Jennies also made the tournament this year. They haven't been since 2000.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Report from the Amer-Asian Day Celebration

What a party we had last night at the Island Bar. Paulie was in rare form. He debuted a new song called 'Did Daddy have great big Head?' It was wonderful time. Dave bought me plenty of beer. I remembered most of the lyrics during my performance. And of course we all enjoyed the haunting version of "I blew a truck driver to get to you." We're all hoping to get Paul and the Violent Farmers t-shirts.

There was an actual Violent Farmer band last night. Well, there was guy backing Paul up on Cowbell. Good work Josh! And the 'Ku Kung Fu Fighting' finale brought down the house. Paulie made me learn that right before the show, so I could play it for him. It was pretty cool.

Jeff has suggested I try to find a venue for a show here in the 'Burg with Jeff, Paul, and myself performing. I think I can do that. I will keep everyone updated.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Jeff's Friday Song #1

Here is a new feature I'd like to introduce called Jeff's Friday song. I will try and get a different/new song each week, and I challenge anyone out there to do the same, especially the sort of people who, um..., you know, write songs (Roger & Paul! Lloyd?...)

Here's a song I wrote for Daniel. We had a very rough couple of years trying to get to know each other. It weren't easy. In fact, one might say it downright was about impossible at times, but we both hung in there and I can truly say now that I can't imagine my life without him; I love him very much and he is my best little buddy. Still as prickly as a thorn bush at times, but then so am I.

I wrote this about a day that was pretty important for our relationship, early on when D. was about 6 or 7. I had taken the family down to an ultimate frisbee tournament and we camped on this guys land (beautiful - in the heart of the Ozarks with Bull Creek running right through it). We really bonded for a day. Didn't last or translate into instant Karma, but I think it showed both of us what our relationship could be like and, at least for me, that was enough at the time.

Bull Creek Lullaby

Tortillas hot with butter
Big glass of apple juice
our lives are plain like this, but
I dig living here with you
there was a time when all these things
were brand new
One summer day walking
down Bull Creek with you

Late spring explorers
down the Bull Creek you and I
compromise has never been my thing, but
I think I'm gonna try it out
we don't agree on everything
but do we really have to?
stepping stone to stone and
walking down Bull Creek with you

You are a stubborn boy, that much is true
I recognize it because I'm the same way, too
can't tell you one thing that you don't already know
so let's just walk together and step lightly with the flow


remember tadpoles in the pools that they call home
catching crawdads by their tales, yeah, that's fun
skipping stones upstream of where the rapids run
sitting next to you, warm in the sun

That was several years ago, now
we've got this whole thing down pat
I remember how it started and
I want you to remember that
you may beat me at checkers
I think I can still win at chess...
and walking down Bull Creek with you
will always be the best

Walking down Bull Creek with you
will always be the best.

The first time I ever sang this live Daniel was there and he knew instantly what the song was about even though I hadn't really talked about it with him or played it for him. It was pretty cute. He came up on stage and sort of messed with me while I was singing (bunny ears and such).

p.s. This is the same Bull Creek of Big Smith fame. I think the Big Smith boys live on Bull Creek down in Christian County south of Springfield. Have you ever been down there, Howdy?

Happy Amer-Asian Day!

Is it a coincidence that Paulie makes his first post on the eve of the great Amer-Asian Day Celebration? I don't know. But if you live in the KC area I implore you not miss the festivities. The fun starts at 8 pm at the Island Bar in Lee's Summit. I will open with a short set, and then Paulie will take the stage. If you haven't seen his show his style of music embraces an eclectic set of obvious influences including Jack Black, Jimmy Buffett, Shel Silverstein, and Russ Meyer. It's beyond politically incorrect. It's hilarious.

You can't afford to miss Paul and the Violent Farmers tonight.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

My Baseball Tale

I seems as if the blog is being dominated by Baseball stories, so I thought I would use my first posting to tell one of my own.
My tale starts in the sixth grade. I was not the most lithe of children and as such was not picked to participate in many sports related activities. So when I recieved the sign up sheet to play baseball for the very first time, I was overjoyed. I ran straight home to get my mom to sign my permision slip so I could start playing ball the following week.
I was relieved to find that my mom was more than happy to sign my slip. Usually she would just take a drag off her cigerette and tell me that I couldnt do it because there was probably going to be some hidden charge. I wasn't about to question her when she handed over the signed paper.
The next day I held my head up high as I presented my teacher with my cheeto stained permission slip. She looked the paper over and then said "Oh how nice. I see your mother has signed up to be a coach."
I was dumb struck. The only physical activity I had ever seen my mother do was to point me in the direction of her purse so I could get her another smoke, and now she was going to be teaching me and 8 other kids how to play baseball. Uhggg
When I got home I found my mom flipping through two books on how to play baseball that she had checked out from the library. She admitted to knowing absolutley nothing about the game, but she felt that she could learn enough from the books to teach us a "thing or two". She then proceeded to fall asleep in the chair while reading the first chapter.

The first day of practice was horrible. The chapter that she had read had shown her how to make wrist strengthening devices out of old rock filled socks attached to a stick with some twine. This being the only chapter she read she made the team do these wrist rolls for what seemed to be hours. After that she suggested that we each give ourselves nicknames to put on the back of our shirts. Without getting my input, she told everyone that my nickname was going to be "Cookie", because I liked to cook.

The next practice was more dirty sock rolls, and the official decision on what names were going on the back of our shirts. The other kids felt that "Cookie" was a great name for me, but that they would just like to have their real last names on the shirts.

By the third practice all of our wrists hurt from the sock rolls, and the kids were getting restless because we hadn't even touched a ball yet. One of the boys fathers having seen enough sock rolling, grabbed a bat and ball and started hitting grounders to us. My mom was furious. She asked the father what he thought he was doing, and he said "Actually practicing" and then my mom said "Fine, then you can do it without me!! Come on Cookie."

And that my friends is the first ever time I got to be part of a baseball team. It doesn't quite bring back the same fond memories as your stories, but it does hold a place in my heart.

Tale #1 for a doubting Seamhead

First of all, I must say that Dave is on the ball. Well, to restate: no one was on that ball that I buried so deep over the fence in left center that it's probably still rolling east out of Troy today. I also remember sweet Lou relating the curve ball story which he overheard.

That was a fun season, but had it's ups and downs. It was the only time I've ever played on a real live sports team with: Roger, Lloyd, Jerry, David, etc....(Was Jaime on that team? We must've had a catcher!)

I remember being in the park at some point that summer tossing a baseball around with none other than Rusty A. He was talking smack (imagine that) and I was talking smack. I'm not really in the same smack-talking league with Rusty, but I was giving it a go.

Anyway, we were in the tennis courts and he was telling me that I couldn't hit him. So I grabbed a bat and said, "bring the heat, Joaquin," or something equally idiotic. After he gave about a ten minute rant about how great his knuckle ball was and how NO ONE could hit it, he threw it his best and ...

... I took that boy DOWNTOWN. I think I hit it over the tennis court fence, over the concession stand, over the dugout of the field beyond the concession stand and it stopped somewhere in near the edge of the grass in center field.

I remember wishing Lloyd was there so that he could see Rusty's mouth snap shut, a rarity!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Chris Rock at the Oscars...thanks Chris!

Transcript: Chris Rocks Comments on President Bush at the Oscars
by Landon Howell Bio Email
Owner & Editor -

"A lot of people like to bash Bush. I'm not gonna bash Bush here tonight. I saw Fahrenheit 9/11, I think Bush is a genius. I thought Bush did some things this year, you, nobody in this room could do. Nobody in this room could pull off ok? Cause Bush basically reapplied for his job this year.

Now can you imagine applying for a job, and while you're applying for that job, there is a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you suck at that job?" (Laughter)

I'd be hard to get hired wouldn't it?(Laughter)

Now I watched Fahrenheit, I learned some stuff man. Bush did some things you could never get away with at your job, man. Never, ever, ever.

When Bush got into office he had a surplus of money. Now there's like a $70 trillion dollar deficit. Now, just imagine you worked at the Gap.(Laughter)

You're closing out your register, and there's $70 trillion dollars short.(Laughter)

The average person would get in trouble for something like that, right?(Laughter-Applause) Not Bush, no.

He started a war, that's cool, support the troops, he started a war. Now just imagine you worked at the Gap.(Laughter)

You're $70 trillion behind on your register, and then you start a war with the Banana Republic...(Laughter) 'cause you say they got toxic tank-tops over there.(Laughter)

You have the war. People are dying. A thousand Gap employees dead, that's right, bleeding all over the khakis.(Laughter)

You finally take over Banana Republic and find out, they never made tank-tops in the first place.(Laughter-Applause)

Jeff the Bird Dog

Jeff reads my post about the Cardinals and responds that he too is delighted that the spring bird watching season is upon us. He's never heard of this 'Pujols' species of which I speak so highly.

This brings us to an important point on this blog. We need to figure out where Jeff grew up. Did he really grow up amongst us so near to Busch stadium? How did he develop this apathy for everything Cardinal with us all around him?

One of my great memories from high school was in the fall of 1985. I guess Jeff had gone off to college by then. After school one October afternoon we raced over to Brenda's house to watch the end of the playoff game between our beloved Cardinals and the Dodgers. I'm not sure who all was there, but we were crowded in the basement hanging on every pitch.

This was the day that Ozzie hit his first left-handed home run ever to beat the Dodgers in Game 5. Jack Clark would homer to beat them in Game 6 sending the Birds on to the World series.

Do you guys have memories like these? Does Jeff? I think he may be an alien.

I have many, many more memories like these. I think ,soon, I will relate to you the ole' Milt Thompson Broken Bat game on here. I think it was Myron that was with me that night.

That's a Winner

Well, it's on us. The single game tickets go on sale Saturday. Cardinal fever has been creeping up my face ever since the pitchers and catchers reported. The winter hibernation is almost over. I'm waking from my dreams of Rick Ankiel tossing strike after strike.

Of course, I am optimistic. The four game sweep in the series was tough (especially since I was going to game 5). But I think they can make it back and give it another crack.

They must stay healthy. Pujols, Rolen, and Edmonds need to play as many games as possible and be healthy when the playoffs roll around.

They must get some good starting pitching. The three biggest keys will be Mulder, Carpenter, and Morris. Can Mulder rebound? Can Carpenter stay healthy and pitch as he did last season? Will Morris rebound the way Duncan and LaRussa believe?

In some ways it doesn't even matter. I'll watch as much as I can even if they aren't playoff bound. It's worth it to see the effort that Pujols, Rolen, Edmonds, and Walker will put out on a daily basis. That truly is a special group of players.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Movie Question

I have yet to see "Passion of the Christ." I imagine that one or more of you have seen it. Is it worth renting? What do you guys think of it?