Thursday, November 29, 2007

Gator Aid

Dr. J. Robert Cade, the inventor of Gatorade, died this week at the age of 80. A while back I remember seeing commercials of how Gatorade was created and thought the commercial was a spoof. On TV they show the Florida Gator football team back in 60's needing something to help them replace all the sweat and body's minerals as they played football. Along comes Dr. Cade with his fantastic creation.

Well, after reading the obituary today I learned that this was indeed a true story. The first batch cost about $43 and they only tested it on freshman during the games since they did not want to hurt the varsity team. "It sort of tasted like toilet bowl cleaner," one of the researchers stated. They then added sugar and lemon juice to improve the taste. It eventually was used by all players and the Florida Gators became known as a second half team who outlasted opponents. In 1967 the losing coach of the Orange Bowl said his team lost because it didn't have the GatorAde that the Florida Gators had.

Pepsi now owns the Gatorade name brand and it has brought the University of Florida more than $150 million in royalties. Gatorade held 81% of the $7.5 billion sports drink industry in 2006. There were 4 original flavors and now there are more than 50 flavors available internationally.

I think it is ironic that Dr. Cade was Florida's first kidney researcher and his cause of death was kidney failure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Small Town Texas

Tonight I went to small town Texas to watch a good friend coach a high school girls varsity team. This small town had a population of close to 500 and I think I only saw one gas station and it closed up for the game. This town is surrounded by farmland. We're talking fields for corn and wheat, not the Texas Longhorn kind. That's somewhere else in Texas.

I gave my wife the night off as I took the kids. I met the coach's wife and her kids and we carpooled. She is a good friend that I first met through teaching and now we have become good friends through our church. I got to live her twice nightly winter routine. We left her daycare parking lot at 5:30. Went straight to the Sonic drive thru for 1/2 price Tuesday night treat. She probably saved me $9 in gas so it was not much of a sacrifice.

The following is a list of what I did see: hairstyles straight from the 80s, good ol' boys, Wrangle jeans, cowboy boots, bleached blond hair, and lots of people having fun. Lots of really WHITE people too.

My kids did alright. My 3 year old son actually watched most of the first 1/2 and wasn't too much to handle. My 6 year old daughter basically ran around everywhere and I was assured by the coach's wife that she was fine tagging along with her 5 year old daughter whom everyone knew.

Bottom line was it did take about 4 hours out of our busy life. I did get to support a good friend and see what he does for a living. AND my wife got 4 straight hours of alone QUIET time.

Tigers win! They're 12-0 and ranked in the top 10 in the state for a 1-A school.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Good Friends

A few weeks ago one of my best friends from St. Louis called me out of the blue. It was great to hear from him. This is the same friend that despises keeping up with The MAN via my blogs. We caught up on things and one thing I've always appreciated about MIN the Master is that he would often prompt a spontaneous prayer. When we were roommates he often would suggest that we pray together. Later when we lived states away we would get together and he rarely let an opportunity go by without recommending we end our time together in prayer. In a way I kind of thought it to be corny, but I always came away from those prayer times feeling better and deep inside I appreciated this. It is awkward suggesting to someone "lets just pray about this RIGHT NOW." I let many opportunites go by without doing this and it is something I should get better at.

This past Friday my family was invited to have an awesome soup lunch with the family of the pastor who married my wife and I. We actually met at a weekly bible study at this pastor's house. This was the first pastor in my life that we got to hang around and we got to know his family on a personal level. It was indeed a special time in my life. I sought consel about dating my wife who was 19 and 8 years younger than I and they said it would be okay. A little over a year later I married this beauty. This was back in Missouri about 15 years ago and times have changed. The preschool family that he had are now in college and high school. My kids are the age of his kids when we moved to Texas in 96. A few years later we were fortunate that he would again be our pastor as he took a job at a church in North Texas.

Our busy lives crossed paths only a few times since the turn of the century and getting together Friday rekindled old times. I was reminded that the conversation back then did not revolve around getting older, growing prostrates, heart issues and such. We had a great time. We also got to be around D & B as they came in from out of state to visit the pastor and his family. Our special time ended with my wife and I having great conversation with D & B as the pastor had to leave for an afternoon wedding.

For me being a Christian allows me to have such special friendships that remain strong even when our lives take different paths. Being a Christian allows me to quickly gain "new family" when we have joined new churches over the years.

Thanks Bro Bill and family for having a big impact on my life! So much time does not need to pass before we get together again! Thanks for having us over Saturday!

Your friend in Christ,


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day

My mom and dad flew in to Dallas Monday morning and experienced temperatures in the 80's. Monday night we went to our church grounds and picked up pecans and my dad went to watch me announce my basketball game. Tuesday afternoon my wife and I got to go shopping and then to a movie and last night we went out with a friend to watch to Mavericks basketball game. It sure has been nice to spend time with family this week.

This morning we feasted on donuts for breakfast and afterwards I went to the gym. I achieved another personal running/walking record and shaved off 50 seconds on my 2 mile trek. I spent a personal high on running shoes Tuesday as well. With tax I ALMOST spent $100. When it comes to shoes I am CHEAP. Not this time though. These shoes will be my "gym only" shoes.

We plan on eating turkey about 1pm. I prefer the early turkey dinner for various reasons. First of all if you eat early you can eat it again for dinner. At dinner you load up only on the things you really like. No needing to be nice and taste everything. I also like eating earlier because I know for sure I will snack all day preceeding the meal. Chips, chips, chips and dip.

Other plans for me today include finishing up a detail on an Expedition. I'll also probably fold a mountain of clean clothes that are blocking my route to the wash machine. Not sure what the ladies are doing later on to meet their shopping needs!

Life is good. I'm thankful for my family!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Mooooooon River

Went for a long overdue physical yesterday. I was the first person on the books at 8:30am and I was wondering why at 8:35 I hadn't been summonsed. A nurse walked in about 5 minutes later and guess who called me into the office?

First up was blood pressure reading along with the withdrawl of blood. I'm not good with needles, but I did manage to donate 2 small vials worth of my blood. Next up was the eye test and I passed with flying colors. My left eye is slightlly more dominant than my right eye. I then peed in the cup followed by the ear test. The last thing the nurse did was administer the EKG heart reading.

The doctor then came in and asked if I ever had a heart attack. I answered not that I knew of. He showed me on the EKG reading how there was a reading that resembled someone who may have had a prior heart attack. He did say that he'd put about 85% confidence in the reading that I did not have the downward spike in the reading that went along with the initial spike that he was concerned about. My blood pressure was slightly high, but he said nothing to worry about.

Last real thing was the "drop your pants and put your elbows on the table" request followed with the "I"m sorry for about what I am about to do........." comment. The old finger up the rear exam. I've never experienced this pleasure and humbly yielded. My wife assures me that this is NOTHING to what women go through on a regular basis.

End result, I'll probably do a follow up visit with a cardiologist to check on the heart thing. The doctor did give me 3 weeks worth of Flomax which might help me make it through the night without getting up to pee 2-3 times.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Gym

Yesterday I made it to the gym for the 3rd time this week only to find that my MP3 player had a dead battery. I stilled worked out and actually had a personal best on the treadmill for a 3rd straight time. The negative of the workout was having to watch Barry Bonds hit homer after homer as they reported that he had been indicted for perjury. I think I watched him hit the homer record yesterday as they continuously showed his 756 record breaking shot. I'm so sick of this story. Everyone including Barry knows that he juiced it as well as many other players during that time. I guess Barry is going with the "I didn't know" story. Would that defense work in any of these following MOCK cases?

"I didn't know my drink had alcohol in it officer so I didn't think I was intoxicated while driving."

"I didn't know she was only 17," says her 18 year old boy as he is charged with statuatory rape.

"I didn't know that the car I was driving was loaded with 18 Kilos of cocaine."

"I didn't know that my friend stuffed my pockets with $1000 worth of MP3 players."

Pathetic excuse.

I shaved another 55 seconds off my 2 mile walk/run today. I'll let you know when I make it to the 12 minute mile mark. I really need some comfortable shoes!

I did buy 4 Energizer batteries at the snack shop inside the gym. $4.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Date Night

I took my daughter on a date today. I awoke the other morning to a Christian radio station and the speaker was talking about how he would often taken his daughter out on dates so by the time she was really ready to date she would know how she was supposed to be treated by her date. I asked my daughter earlier in the week if she would go on a date and she happily said yes. Every day she would ask how many more days until our date.

I left the house today about 1:15 to go to the gym for a quick work out, a sit in the sauna and a shower. I arrived to pick up my date about 2pm. Her hair was fixed and she was in a pretty red dress. We held hands as we walked to my truck. This is the first time I've ever had to lift my date into the vehicle AND she rode in the back seat. She picked Steak and Shake for dinner and the best part of her meal was her chocolate shake. I ended up eating my meal and 1/2 of hers. I'm such a pig.

On the way to the movie we saw an awesome new black Chevy Corvette. My daughter says, "That would be a nice date car." Yes, but she was stuck with me and the pick up. We enjoyed seeing The Bee Movie. Pretty good movie and we both made it through without having to use the restroom. My customer service idea of the day is to have a self serve butter station in each theatre. This would serve as a convenience and possibly a safety measure for parents who are tempted to leave their child in the theatre to restock on that tasty butter flavor.

My daughter's favorite part of the date was seeing either a fox or a coyote in a field just outside the theatre. I would have saved about $30 just taking her to a nature reserve. Maybe next time!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Fried Chicken!

I think I posted the Fried Chicken story long ago so BillyV when you see the title does it take you back about 20 years?

Tonight we dined at Popeyes Chicken before church. You know me, I had a buy one get one free coupon. Problem is, that coupon came with 3 others so the whole day I was trying to figure out which DEAL my family should get. In my frugality I stopped by the house to pick up the kids 2 Capri Suns at the store price of 20 cents each saving well over $2 since I didn't have to buy them drinks.

I used my buy a 3 piece combo and get a 2 piece dinner for free COO PON. That was $7 with the add for one piece of white meat. I also got the naked chicken strips and 2 extra biscuits. The dinner ended up being $13 for 4 people. Not bad I guess. Had I gone the 8 dark pieces for $4 and added sides, 2 drinks and my naked strips I'm sure that would have been more so I think I made the right move.

Dinner was fine, but I personally don't go to Popeyes for the fried chicken. I really prefer their catfish, which is expensive and my second favorite is the naked strips. I do think that Popeyes chicken pieces are smaller than the other local places.

My favorite chicken places in Texas:
1. Chicken Express: best strips, good chicken, but I prefer the catfish. $1 Sweat Tea too!
2. Golden Chick: 1/2 price Mondays was a staple for a while until I got sick one time. Decent strips too!
3. Popeyes: catfish, naked strips, and the biscuits
4. KFC: My least favorite tasting chicken, but I love the wedges
5. Walmart: $3.97 for 8 pieces, not bad if it is fresh!

Mine and Billyv's favorite place in Maplewood was Church's Chicken. It is still in the same location and still has bad service. I don't know how many times we ordered 8 pieces for $2.99.

Chicken 3 meals a day?
Chick Fil A-chicken egg biscuit
Scotty P's fried chicken strips for lunch
Buffalo A & D chicken wings with chicken fried rice for dinner

Really, I did this last Friday!

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Big Tease

Just about EVERY time I go back to St. Louis I come back to Texas thinking about what would it take to move back to St. Louis. The weekend before Halloween I got to spend great time with my family and I long for those relationships. My brother happens to be selling his business and this past Saturday I jokingly mentioned that we could buy it and move back.

Well, I went to the movies late Saturday night and when I got home after midnight I found my wife sitting at the computer looking at houses in the surrounding St. Louis areas. This mental tease usually lasts for about a week. We'll refresh those desires Christmas when we both go back and probably pull every house magazine, visit and then drive areas that we like.

I guess we could do the T chart and write down the pros and cons. We only go thru life once so as Red said in The Shawshank Redemption, "You either get busy living, or get busy dying."