Tuesday, July 31, 2007


I finally got out of bed at 9:22am this morning. It helps that my wife put new curtains or drapes on the wall and our room can stay dark all day if we choose. I'm still dragging and know that SOON I need to get on a routine since school will be starting and the get up time will be 3 hours earlier than 9:22. I also know that I will need to get in bed before 11pm and not stay up playing cards until 3am.

I think I feel like crap right now also because I've not been on a consistent eating plan since school let out. Also, I haven't see the gym as often as I should have. So, in a round about way I am looking forward to the consistency that being back in school will bring.

Today is my mental last day of summer where I can be lazy ALL DAY! Maybe even take in a movie and have a large buttered popcorn and 44 oz. diet Coke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Crave The Word

As a Christian one of the things I really struggle with is actually spending time in God's word on a daily basis. This is crazy to me because I thoroughly love and enjoy reading the bible. I fall short of saying CRAVE because that would suggest that I would be more active in reading the bible. I created a website one time while teaching a bible class and it died out within a month. I've also copied and pasted passages in a 3 ring binder from Biblegateway and it also lasted about a month.

Reading the bible is not a chore at all, but for some dumb reason I seem to get too busy to consistently grow myself spiritually in the word. I'm too busy watching TV, checking email, mowing, etc. Well, my new goal is to actually read one chapter of the bible each day and post it on a separate blogger site. You are welcome to read the chapter, comment on the few things that I share, or post a comment on something that the passage is telling you.

I challenge you to keep me accountable in the effort and hope I grow spiritually and act as an encouragement for you to get busy reading the bible as well. Hopefully I will last longer than a month!

So feel free to click the link to your right called Crave The Word! I've already posted Epeshians 1. I comment on how God sees you if you are a believer and also give my understanding about not being able to lose your GIFT of salvation.

You've come this far.........spend less than 5 minutes in The Word!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mental Day Planner

I have never carried around a day planner or calendar book. I know some people have their lives and schedules written down months in advance and are very detailed about appointments and such, but I've always kept a mental calendar of where and when I should be. That said my mental calendar has been thrown into overdrive with school quickly approaching.

When school let out early this past June that August 17th date was posted deep down somewhere in my right parietal-temporal lobe. I knew I had 30 days to spend in St. Louis and had mentally figured different milestone dates that would increase my awareness as to when I would have to go back to work.

Dates and matter of importance to me

July 1st-one full calendar month before August
July 17th-30 days before reporting back to work officially. Most teachers go back WAY before their report date.
July 25th-my first step back into thinking about the next school year. I had a 2 day science workshop.
July 31st-to me this is kind of my LAST real day of summer because August will be busy.
August 11-going with 50 colleagues on an overnight team building ropes course deal.
August 17-first real report day to work in the room and 10 daby BK(before kids).
August 24-my last weekend, although August 17th is the last FREE from kids weekend.
August 27-ready or not, here they come
August 31-first Friday and start of a 3 day weekend
September 4-this Tuesday will be the start of what I hope is an awesome year!

With all of these dates bouncing around on my mental calendar I rarely miss an appointment or responsibility. AND September 3rd is in there because it is my wife's birthday. I am already thinking how many days I have left to buy her something special. Wish me luck on that one.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Letter Rip

During my conversation with my pastor a while back we talked about dreams and what you watch, read or seriously think about and how it impacts what you dream about. I really don't like to watch the news before going to bed because 90% or more is so negative. In North Texas even the watching the weather can be stressful.

Well, let me tell you what I remember dreaming about last night. I was making words in my dreams. Last night my wife and I played a game called Letter Rip which is found on www.primarygames.com. You get many tiles and you have to spell as many words as you can in a short amount of time. The bigger the word, the more points you get.

In the past I do recall playing Free Cell, poker and Fowl Words(primarygames) in my sleep.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Prayer Gratitude AND Smells

Thanks for the prayer on my dad. After a 2 week visit in the hospital he went home yesterday, Monday. He is doing fine, but is really bummed out about not being able to work his garden. My brother did pick about 100+ tomatoes and my dad says that his sister and neice are coming over to do some canning. My brother said some of the cucumbers were as big as watermelons.

Also, my friend's roommate did pass away so continue to pray for my "resourceful" friend as she and her daughter deal with their loss!

Positive Smells Natural
Flowers-they smell great to us, but serve as to attract the bugs so plants can reproduce
Fresh cut grass-this may kill those with allergies, but I dig the smell of a fresh cut lawn early in the morning
Fruits-God gave us some very colorful food and most of if comes with an attractive smell. Instead I like dull looking potato chips and deep fried goods.

Positive Smells Man-Made
Popcorn at a movie theatre-need I say more
Asphalt smell-reminds me of Six Flags
Leather/new car smell-it doesn't last long, but we all like to climb into a new car and take in that smell
Bread/cookies-anthing that is fresh baked usually gets into this category
Italian restaurant-must be the garlic or oregano

Monday, July 23, 2007

The Story

My side of the story:

During the winter of 94 I left work at the Jeep Eagle dealership where I worked to pick up my late night date. I pulled up in my brand new 1995 metalic grey all wheel drive Eagle Talon with leather interior. I was sure to impress my date. I hopped out of the demo and headed to the apartment in which my date lived. After a few minutes we returned back to the car and like a true gentleman I walked her to her side and opened the door. After she was safely in I walked around the car and let myself in the driver seat. It was then that I felt a sense of terror. I had released a wee bit of gas before I got out of the car to pick up my date and little, if any of it, had disapated in the cold St. Louis air. Like a deer in the headlights I froze, not acknowledging the smell, just hoping the new leather smell would stand out to my date more than what had come out of my rear end just minutes before. My date ended up marrying me that following summer.

Her side of the story:

The story is rather accurate! My future husband came upstairs to my apartment and lingered between 5 and 10 minutes. It was a rather cold evening in late Feb or early march. Like a gentleman, he opened the car door for me. I had no idea of the suffocation I was about to endure. It was terrible. I had smelled gas before, but never this smell. I imagine the 10 minutes of cold air had frozen the smell into fart icycles just hanging from the roof! He did realize upon his entry, which seemed to be hours later, and meekly squeeked out an, "oh...sorry." We laugh about this still to this day!

Sunday, July 22, 2007


As I sat at a local intersection with my daughter she commented that "someone was smoking." She was right, even with our windows up and the A/C going we could smell the invasive odor of the burning cigarette.

I thought I would post down 10 offensive or disgusting smells.

5 Imposing Smells others may force upon you

1. Cigarette smoke-this distinct, unhealthy, discharge of a cigarette lingers and travels very far. I don't know what is worse, the original smell of the cigarette at the bar, or the smell of your clothes after you get home.
2. Body odor-this tends to be a problem for heavier people, or those who don't shower that often. Sometimes the smell of body odor that has a heavy dose of perfume on it is even worse.
3. Flautulence-we all break the wind, but it is how and where we do it that counts. I'LL POST A PERSONAL FUNNY ON THIS ONE TOMORROW!
4. Breath-some people suffer from HALITOSIS, but sometimes items like coffee or onions can really extend how far your bad breath travels.
5. Bad perfume-when someone WAY OVERDOES their favorite cologne or eau de toilet so that everyone within 20 feet can smell them.

5 Bad Smells in General

1. Urine-especially the whiff of a concreted area where people may urinate in public. An example would be a place where the homeless may relieve themselves.
2. Burnt popcorn-those who set the microwave for 4 minutes and walk off only to come back to a smoke filled room and ruined popcorn. This smell travels much farther and tends to be more permanent than cigarette smoke.
3. Skunk-if you've ever run over a skunk while driving you may understand this one. The smell lasts forever in your car.
4. Death-decomposing flesh has a very pungent smell about it. We had a 99 Cavalier in which a mouse built a nest. When I turned on the A/C unit the fan basically blendered the baby mice and caused more than $500 damage. Imagine my car sitting on the dealer's lot for 2 days with the windows up in near 100 degree heat. That smell went with the car when we traded it in.
5. Vomit-that raw semi-digested food with the trace of stomach acid can cause gag reflexes in many people.

Future posts include one of my near tragic flatulence occurences AND positive smells!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sorry, We're Closed

I had kid duty tonight and procrastinated until about 7:15 before deciding what to do for dinner. Dining at home was out since we, check that, my wife did a major cleaning on the house in preparation for a birthday party Saturday.

With 2 kids I really wasn't that excited about going IN anywhere so I decided to drive to Ameriyaki grill, a place WAY across town. I really enjoy their teryaki chicken bowl and they've got Jr. burgers which the kids like. I have them addressed in my cell phone and tried calling about 1/2 way there. My plan was to just go in and pick up dinner and drive back home. As I turned the corner I got that sinking feeling when I didn't see any cars out front.

Sure enough, there was a sign on the door saying "Sorry, we're closed." I think they were closed for good because the specials board on the inside was wiped clean also.

I am not good in situations like this. I just sat there not knowing what to do. Having a teryaki chicken bowl was my ONLY consideration. My daughter rescued "us" and said she wanted Sonic which was right next door. Cheese stix it was so I reluctantly gave in and ended up eating some greasy fried food which is not on my diet plan.

This is the 2nd favorite restaurant that has closed on me in the last 2 years. I guess the next time I find a place I REALLY like I'll start ordering doubles, not look for ways to save money, buy stock, work for them for FREE and so on.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

One Last Time

Sometimes experiencing something for the last time can be exciting: the last day of school before Spring Break or Summer, the last car payment, the last set of a tough workout, last few minutes before the workday is over, one last mile of a 600 mile trip and so on.

Sometimes the last time you do something could be less exciting, yet anxious moments: the last time you hit the snooze button, the last weekend of your Summer break, the last month of 1 year free financing on furniture, the last paycheck of a spouse who has just decided to be a stay at home spouse.

Last week as I drove home I started to reflect on another possible last time. With my parents getting older and both of them having experienced life threatening illnesses I really cherished the 30 days that I just got to spend with my family while in St. Louis. My visits with each parent may have been the last time I get to see them. I won't be back until Christmas.

Today my friend asked me to be a witness and sign her friend and roommate's DNR(do not resusicitate) papers. Since Spring her friend's situation has rapidly deteriorated and she is looking at days of life, not weeks, months or years. As I mowed my friend's lawn I was humbled into thinking how we waste the days we have and how we take each day for granted. Her friend has most likely experienced many lasts: Christmas, Thanksgiving, snowfall, spring when flowers begin to bloom, vacation, dinner at a favorite restaurant, birthday parties and so on. Right now her time is limited and so precious that she has most likely experienced her last: trip out of the house, excitement about something on TV as trivial as American Idol or Survivor, even the last day that she just felt well.

Fact is we will all perish, but when we're MUCH older right? Don't take it for granted. C.S. Lewis once said that God "shouts to us in our pains, it is His megaphone to a deaf world."

First I ask you to pray for all involved in this sad time.

I also pray that you and I are reminded of how special life is and to value ALL of the moments that you go through, whether small, tedious, or rewarding.

Monday, July 16, 2007

What Did You See?

I went to the movies tonight by myself. After being unsuccessful for 2 days in a row to get a friend to go with me I decided to go ahead and go alone. There were only 2 movies that I could see for FREE with my movie passes and had originally planned to see Die Hard with a good friend who had to cancel at the last minute. I then decided to see the other movie on my own. I ended up seeing Knocked Up. It got pretty good reviews on the www.imdb.com website so I went to a chick movie all by myself.

Knocked Up movie review: The story line was appealing enough and the movie kept my interest 90% of the time. I would not recommend seeing it based on the number of times the "F" word was used and there is an unnecessary amount of SKIN in the movie.

On the way out to my car I saw a former student who asked, "What movie did you see?" I really felt like telling a lie because I was either embarrassed or convicted by seeing this movie. I really wished I could tell him that I saw a decent movie. I told him the truth and said not to see it because there was too much profanity in it.

This brings me to another point I struggle with. I sometimes go to the movies just to be going without using my best judgment. I would easily say 1 in 3 movies I have seen lately really aren't fit for watching. I have often read review on Christiananswers.net, but this time I did not.

I confess my lack of good moral judgment.


Well, it really hasn't rained here in North Texas since we got back in town. Everyone said there were maybe 2 days that it didn't rain the whole 30 I was gone. Isn't it funny how we think we control nature or the outcomes of things. I venture to guess that MOST guys feel like they control the outcomes of ballgames or sporting events by whether they watch or not, or whether they go to the games or not.

One example would be the following: The Cardinals were winning 3-0 after 6 innings and I finally got a chance to turn the game on. Immediately the other team scored 2 runs so I felt like I had bad karma and caused the visiting team to score.

Do you have any situations that you feel like the outcomes change by whether you watch or not?

Hot and in the 90's here in Texas.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Back in Texas

We left Missouri Friday morning and crossed the Okla/Tex state line about 5pm. We hit a little bit of rain in Okla and of course it rained on us most of the 40 minutes we drove in Texas. Everything sure is green around here. Mowed my lawn today and I had to weedwhack the backyard before I could mow. Didn't like mowing on high either. I'm sure I'll get back out and mow it another notch lower Tuesday or Wednesday. Caught a 3-legged toad today. My wife thinks she whacked the leg off the time she mowed a few weeks ago.

The scales revealed that it is time to get back on plan.....up 10 pounds from the last day of school. The trip to St. Louis KILLED me and I can feel it. I'll be in the gym everyday except Sundays until school starts up.

Top 10 Things I Enjoyed in St. Louis
10. Trip to St. Louis Zoo with friend K and kids
9. Trip to KC to watch Cards play. Would be closer to 1 if they'd won OR even competed. They lost that game 14-6.
8. Fishing and fireworks out in Beaufort MO
7. FOOD=weight gain
6. Bowling 3 of 4 Wednesdays
5. Six Flags with family
4. Grants Farm with J, J and the boys
3. The Police Concert with BillyV
2. Getting in 30 days of family, enough to last until Christmas.
1. 12th Anniversary overnighter. It sure was nice sleeping in a queen sized bed with my wife for the first time in 30 days. Plus taking in all the outdoors things.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

House Trailers or Mobile Homes?

My wife calls them house trailers and was corrected the other day by someone who said they were mobile homes. Well, in the central eastern portion of Missouri they are house trailers and aren't very mobile. I'll get to this in a bit.

We left Sunday A.M. for our anniversary to stay in a bed n breakfast about 1 1/2 hours outside St. Louis. We often stay in b'n b's for our anniversaries and do them blind so it is a gamble. We stayed at the www.nostalgicplace.com and was not disappointed. It is only about 5 years old and was made from an old laundry quarters of Ursiline College. The Nostalgic Place actually is not a part of the college grounds any more and the college was sold to an individual in the mid 90's and is now a combination of housing, antiques and a great lunch place called The Abbey. Word is that Microsoft "almost" bought this place as a retreat/training ground, but it was just a bit too far outside of St. Louis. Imagine what that would have done for the economy.

This is all located in an area where 3 "towns" are located within 3 miles of a highway stretch: Pilot Knob, Ironton, and Arcadia Valley. This place was booming in the 1880's as iron and lead were found in the small mountains. Great timing as the Civil War had just begun.

We visited Elephant Rock state park where huge pink boulders of granite cover one hillside. This are was mined for granite until the mid 20th century. When the iron in this area was found the farthest that railroad tracks journeyed west was to Pittsburgh. That quickly changed. We also visited a Johnson Shut In's State park that had recently re-opened for a few months. It closed in December of 1995 because the water reservoir on the mountain burst spilling billions of gallons of water which destroyed the park. Rumor has it the electric company did this on purpose because it was not a cost effective electricity plant. Miraculously nobody was killed.

There really was not much to look at in this area. Most homes were house trailers and on many occasions it seemed when a family upgraded to a new house trailer the old one was simply discarded on the hillside nearby. I noticed 2 different occasions were the family was on its 3rd house trailer with 2 of them nothing but scrap metal on the property. It didn't even look like they were used for storage.

We did find a GREAT place for dinner called Baylee Jo's. We had a pick from 3 places and the first place we walked in and walked right back out. BJ's had great food and was priced right. They even treated us to FREE ice cream since it was our anniversary. We did have to witness a biker lady heaving up something out on the parking lot. That part was FREE too!

Bummer thing about going on Sunday is that the most of the few antique shops were closed Sunday and Monday.

We also hiked about 1 1/2 miles down a rocky trail to see some special water fall, but nobody told us that all we would see was a trickling of water. 2 days later and my calves are still killing me.

Count down to Texas has started. My dad is still in the hospital, possibly until Friday, so thanks for your prayers. He seems to be doing better and I pray he quits smoking. We'll most likely leave for home Friday real early OR drive over night Thursday. Who knows????

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Prayer request

My wife and I survived our day alone without children and I'll post about it in a few days. When we got home last night I found out that my dad had been admitted into the hospital with a collapsed lung. Pray for him. He handed over his cigarettes to the nurse and said, "If I can stop drinking after all these years, I guess I'll stop smoking."

Going to visit him today. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Finishing, Finding, Fishing, Fireworks

Finishing: Saturday I finished a few projects for my mom. I sealed much of the grout from my tile job along with trimming up her Bradford Pear tree(my least favorite tree).

Finding: About 2pm we left to look for places for my mom. She is within 2 years of retiring so she is thinking about her options and it includes possibly moving out of the city area.

Fishing: We stopped by my cousin's place to fish. We had 3 poles, 3 hooks, 1 bobber and 12 worms. When we showed up around 6pm over 100 fish were sitting by the banks waiting for us. Mostly blue gill and perch. Found out later that my cousin feeds the fish every day at 6pm. My cousin had a cooler with cold beverages waiting for us along with bug spray and a damp cloth for washing our hands. All of us caught something, probably 30 fish in all including a bass that I caught. We only lost one hook.

Fireworks: We journeyed down the road about 5 miles to my brother's place. On many weekends you can find many of Missouri's finest drinking beer from sun up to sun down. I warned my kids that Uncle T might be sunburnt, stinky, and a little "goofy." His firework show was FANTASTIC. He had over $500 worth of booming explosives. He has 2 guys set things up before hand and they were lighting away keeping the show going constantly. Pretty dangerous set up also. With all the intoxicated people shooting fireworks I said, "The emergency room, I mean, stupidity room better be ready......" One group of people brought a potato launcher that included an over the shoulder cannon, aerosol chamber and an igniter. It shot potatoes well over 100 yards. We left about 10:15 pleased to report.......NO INJURIES!!!!!!

Today is our 12th wedding anniversary. Grandma just took the kids to church and my wife and I have reserved a Bed n Breakfast for tonight. Will go to a state park to explore and maybe swim along with hit a few antique shops. I usually do a rib eye steak on our anniversary.

It's HOT outside!

Saturday, July 07, 2007


On Friday I mowed my brother's lawn again in exchange for FREE labor on the install of power locks for my truck. On the way back to my mom's house I decided I would stop by a place called Gus' Pretzels. I could treat my family to a few pretzels.

I got lucky and found an up front parking spot, but quickly found that this was a CA$H only place. They did have this little ATM machine that would print you a receipt that would be treated as cash at the register. $1.50 fee plus the $1.50 from my bank........just GREAT! As I stood in line I noticed they had hotdogs. A few weeks ago we almost bought bagel dogs at Einsteins Bagels, but they were $6 each so we passed. At Gus' they were only $2.50 each so I ordered lunch for my family.

These pretzel dogs were GREAT. IT was basically a HUGE hotdog inside of a perfectly toasted bagel. I did get one St. Louis style salsiccia, but it wasn't that good. I also picked up 3 twist and 3 stick pretzels. For this place to be a St. Louis staple I am not really impressed with the plain pretzels. I'll definitely go back for a pretzel dog, but would probably have to try the cinnamon pretzel.

Gus' Pretzels is located across from the brewery on Arsenal, 1/2 a block from Highway 55. You could also plan to take the FREE brewery tour which has a tour every 15 minutes and you get 2 free samples at the end of the tour.

Tonight's activity includes watching fireworks that my brother will fire off. About $400 worth. Downside is most everyone will be fully intoxicated by the time we get there AND it is HOT and HUMID here in the St. Louis area.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My Feet are Killing Me OR I'm Soaking Wet

Took the family to Six Flags over Mid America today. This is a hard thing for me to do since I become an eager kid when going to things like this. The following is the THEN and NOW list of me going to Six Flags:


Arrive early to be first in line ....Show up as the park opens
Park and RUN for it ....Park, wait, wait, wait, etc
Walk REALLY fast ....Walk like I'm 90(kid speed)
Run for roller coaster rides ....Walk to kiddie park
Ride the rides I like ....Ride ones my 6 year old can
Think only of ME ....Think of others

You get the point. It really was hard for me to slow down and make this a family trip. One positive was we got in for FREE. 3 reading tickets from school and my 3 year old son was free. I was impressed that my daughter rode all the 42 inch and taller rides, including the roller coasters. My son barely made the 36 inch requirement, but did ride a few rides. The Scrambler ride we rode together and he basically drooled all over me trying to keep his composure. No crying kids and only one incident of my 2 kids fighting for line placement.

We met my mom at 3pm at Dairy Queen and she took them home as my wife and I got to enjoy the thrill rides. There really were very little wait times. The only 30 minute wait we had was on the new Tony Hawk roller coaster ride. By 7:30 pm "My Feet Were Killing ME" and we ended the evening riding 2 water rides. I left the park "Soaking Wet." We kind of wished the kids could have been on the last 2 water rides with us.

Our free day out really cost us about $70.
$20 for parking. I paid $5 extra to park up front. $9.50 for a sports bottle drink that we were allowed to refill for $1. I think we had 6 refills. Later I find out they had a deal for $12 with unlimited refills. Dairy Queen lunch was about $16, grandma included. Funnel cake $6 and dinner out at a local establishment was $20.

Friday I will mow for my brother and then we will go to Grant's Farm to see the animals. The park is FREE, but parking is $8. Anyone willing to give us a ride????

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Walking in Your Footsteps

The Police concert was great Monday night. Fictionplain, the band Sting's son leads, opened up. They were pretty good until the last song when unexplicably it was laced with F-bombs, maybe 30 of them. His son definitely inherited Sting's vocals.

I knew and loved every but on of the songs that The Police sang. I really didn't know Truth Hurts Everybody. The band was extremely professional and I felt they delivered at their top level all thru the concert. I didn't really get goosebumps until they played Walking In Your Footsteps. Well worth going to. Billyv and I walked about 3 miles to our car afterwards. Really, 3 miles. Took 45 minutes.

Last night we went to Fair St. Louis and listened to The Goo Goo Dolls and watched the fireworks. The set up was crazy. All the bathrooms and concessions were located down on the river levee along with the stage. Anyone needing food or a restroom trip needed to commit at least 30 minutes, possibly an hour for a food line. Fireworks were great where we sat. It took 50 minutes to go about 1 mile afterwards. Problems was there was a Cardinal game and combine those 40K people with the 50K that were on the Arch grounds and you have one big traffic mess.

Happy 4th of July. Spending time with family today!!!!!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The Police

Just picked BillyV up and we are off to see The Police tonight at the Scottrade Center. Flashback to 1983 when we last went in St. Louis. BillyV and I went with 2 friends from church and one of them did not tell the truth as to where he was going that night. We still joke and say, "At least my parents knew where I was that night." Plus buying a Synchronicity t-shirt and not being able to take it home. Wish I still had mine.

I'll know 99% of the songs tonight AND my seat is #1. Hope the bathroom is right around the corner. I think we will stop by an establishment that BillyV worked at as a teen. It is located on "The Hill."

The Police review tomorrow!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Scales

We stayed at my sister-in-law's house last night and before going to church this morning I was prepping up in their guest bathroom when I saw it. They have the same scales that we do in Texas. I think the mom bought both of her daughters scales for Christmas. What a message that sends.

Anyway, I haven't weighed in over 2 months and was curious to see how bad my dieting had gotten out of hand. At times I feel and think I am about the same. Other times I know I am slipping into some bad habits. Especially being back her in St. Louis enjoying....indulging in some of my favorites.

I hopped on the scales to see that I am up about 5 pounds from about 45 days ago. I guess my mind set now is to hold steady until I can get back to Texas and start working out again along with counting points and doing something similar to the Weight Watchers program.

Monday night: The Police Concert!!!!