Thursday, May 31, 2007

Revenge on Red

Tonight was sweet revenge. Orange Crush, my 13 year old daughter’s softball team made it to the finals tonight.

To get here, coming up from the losers bracket because of last weeks loss (A Humbling Defeat), we had to win 3 other games with the threat of getting bumped out of the tournament if we had one more loss. The girls redeemed themselves and did a great job to get us to the finals.

As expected, we met up with the 11 & 12 year old WonderKids known un-affectionately as the Red team.

Two nights ago on Tuesday, we played a semi-final championship game and the Red team coach came to scout us out. He had heard we didn’t have our full team together when his team had beat us and wanted to see how we looked with our full roster. He had his assistant and a clip board with him, taking copious notes on our girls fielding and batting skills. He has been known to use intimidation and tricks to win. Last year during the tournament final he instructed his pitcher to purposely walk the strong hitters on his opponent’s team, and also had the girls tease and taunt liberally. As he scouted our team, one of our parents over heard him talking to his assistant about what they needed to do to beat us. They couldn’t walk our strong hitters (of our 15 girls, 8 of them are home-run hitters), but they would try to intimidate us in other ways. She heard him say that we would leave the field in tears when we met up on Thursday night (tonight).

We did in fact leave in tears. Tears of joy.

One of our girls came up with a great idea- since the enemy coach was taking notes on our players using their jersey numbers, they decided to all switch jerseys. Prior to the championship games every one of our girls switched up with another player in hopes of confusing and confounding Red team.

Because we had lost a game during the tournament and the Red team had not, we had to beat them twice in a row to win the championship. It was a long night. Our girls came out strong and played some of the best softball of their short careers. Our fielding was amazing, our hitting was very strong. We won the first game 10-1 and the second 8-2. The Red team’s coach was actually coming out of his skin- freaking out with every success we had and every error his team made. He was yelling and screaming, the Red team’s parents were yelling and screaming at their own kids, and even the Red team players were yelling and screaming at each other. They came apart at the seams, while the Orange Crush playfully and skillfully dispatched the enemy. The only intimidation that occurred that night was our team’s forceful and overwhelming performance crushing the overly-aggressive Red team coach. It was a great night.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Time Is A Many Splintered Thing

No time to blog. No time to hang with the kids. No time to do the bills. No time for God. No time for Michelle. No time for fun. No time to do anything but respond to urgent calls, emails and requests.

I lived today in batches of seconds… running from one thing to another, not able to pour much of myself into anything in particular… just bits and pieces of my heart and mind spilling here and there in a mad rush towards the days end.

I honestly can't look back at the day and see any one thing I did well or completely.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Humbling Defeat

The Orange Crush. That’s the name of my daughter K’s 14 & under girls softball team I help coach. The girls have played together for several years and have come to be feared throughout Williamson County. For the last several years we have lost only one or two games, and have been the county-wide champions for 3 years straight.

Last Thursday night we were humbled. It was the first game of the double-elimination annual tournament, and 7 of our 15 girls couldn’t make it to the game. We had the absolute minimum necessary to start a game- 8 girls. Our opponent was a group of 11 & 12 year old girls that had also been playing together for a few years and had amassed a record of 50 wins and 0 losses. They had requested of the county to “play up” to the older league so that they would have some competition.

On a few other occasions we had played with 8 girls- our short stop is so strong that we have her play short AND third base and play 3 outfielders versus the 4 allowed. On all those occasions we had won, but not by the scores we had become accustomed to. Usually we win with scores like 25-1, or 28-0, or 22-4, but with only 8 players we drop to scores like 11-3 or 14-6.

The first tournament game did not go as expected. When our girls found out they would be playing a bunch of little 11 and 12 year old girls they let their guard down. They walked onto the field and got slammed. They lost their first tournament game and dropped into the loser’s bracket. One more loss and the year is over. The mood was somber, and all any of our girls wanted to do was get the whole team together and meet up with the Red team again. Odds are that will happen in the finals next week…if we make it there. 3 games to win now to make it to the finals.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Carnival of The Storytellers 10th Edition

Welcome to edition number 10 of The Carnival of Storytellers.

This edition was fun to work. A few of the posts brought out strong reactions and made the task this week much more fun.

If you are a regular reader you might be interested to know that Elvis D's latest entry was booted for gratuitous sex and language, and several more were not included due to bouts of stupidity and boringness (is that a word?).

Read on and enjoy the posts that made the cut!


I found this post interesting even though I could not understand about 20% of it due to frequent use of a language I cant understand. Sometimes Toe is kind enough to roughly interpret, most other times you just gotta go with the flow and guess what the words mean. She presents Matabungkay, Part 1 (the Journey) posted at kurokuroatbp, saying, "Story of my childhood days when the family would go to the beach on a jeepney."

Here’s a slightly unusual post for a carnival- TherapyDoc presents Courage posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, "Extraordinary Comebacks--I had to review the book. Would it inspire you? More than therapy? Maybe yes, maybe no." So she gets a free book in hopes it will be read and commented on, it does AND lands in a blog carnival, and all she gets is the free book? TherapyDoc- I am a marketing, sales and product development consultant, and it seems to me you’re selling yourself short here. Get the publisher to agree to give you points on sales or something!

In this next post, Alfa King writes eloquently about the dangers “journalists” are facing abroad. While I in NO way want “journalists” to be harmed, I can’t get over the fact that I don’t trust anyone who claims to be a “journalist.” Especially when “journalists” claim to be unbiased and always report things exactly as they happened without any filter or slant. I would attribute that ability to Jesus, but beyond Him, everyone has an angle. He presents Reporters and Journalists, beware posted at Alfa King Memories.

Excellent post! I really enjoyed this, and was transported back many years to those exciting childhood kickball games. They seemed so important then- the whole world revolved around the game. Each recess we SPRINTED to the field in order to maximize the time for the game. travis simpson presents On Kindergarten, Kickball & the Absence of Cynicism posted at Symbolscape.

Very well-written and funny post about the madness of being male. Totally dug it. There was a comment to the post that mentioned the age-old complaint from women that men never put the toilet seat back down. Women think that is being inconsiderate. I ask you, if women are so considerate, why don’t they lift the toilet seat back up for us men? Brent Diggs presents The Ominous Comma » Hormone Poisoning posted at The Ominous Comma, saying, "I carefully concealed story about my wife and I surrounded by a scientifical mocumentary"

Madeleine Begun Kane presents Surmounting Marriage posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog. Two posts in a row that go straight to the heart of the matter: the battle of the sexes. Is there anything more fun to talk about and dive into then the beauty and humor of how women and men are different? To truly appreciate it one must admit to the faults and frailties of one’s own sex and not just claim and cling to the strengths. We are ALL wonderfully designed and made, and need each other to navigate life.

An occasional mild profanity almost kept this out, but it is such fun reading I couldn’t leave it homeless. Rickey Henderson presents posted at Riding with Rickey, saying, "Oh you're gonna love this story... its a doozy."

Samir Bharadwaj presents How to anti-crash a wedding in 5 easy steps - a case study posted at I decided to include this post even thought I couldn’t get through it all. I sort of lost interest about 3 paragraphs in. If you read through it, leave a comment to let us all know if we should too :)

I too have a deep love and respect for those that have worn the suit of armor to protect and serve our great nation. There has never been, and will likely never be another- United States of America. Jack Yoest presents Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery posted at, saying, "Every time we’ve made the left turn onto Eisenhower Drive, and passed through the imposing brick gates of Arlington National Cemetery, I’ve been overwhelmed with emotion. Family members of those buried at Arlington National Cemetery are given a special pass and may drive onto the Hallowed Grounds to visit the grave of their loved one. It’s an enormous honor which makes me feel humbled."

Interesting. One of the benefits of running this carnival is…its mine. I am absolute ruler. I decide what gets in and what doesn’t. I also get to have a somewhat one-sided argument about the posts. Sure, someone can leave a comment, but then again, I can always delete it. So anyway, here is my take on this post. I believe Vera Nadine is either lying or deluded. She is either trying so hard to be important or fit in this world, or she is hearing voices and seeing things that are either imagined or evil. I find it absolutely amazing people believe in this stuff and yet think the concept of one true God, and his Holy Spirit and Son made man to save us is preposterous. It makes my head spin. She presents Medium Adventures: The Geisha Girl posted at Vera Nadine - Discovering true hope through the magic of spirit, saying, "A spirit psychic details her encounter with the spirit of a Geisha Girl."

Awesome! While I in no way celebrate the needless killing of creatures, surely this gent had a right to strike out and end the life of this pesky critter. I know from experience. Last year I had to BB-gun murder a bird that had taken up residence between the stone and wood of my house, clicking and chirping constantly a mere 6 inches from my favorite family room chair. It was a true single shot, and instant death. travis simpson on the other hand needed two shots. He presents Cock Blocking posted at Symbolscape.


That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the storytellers using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Before And After: The Garage

9:00AM- This should be fun and interesting. At least to me.

I will attempt to motivate and amaze myself as I tackle, with the help of my lovely wife Michelle and four wonderful daughters K, L, A & R, the cleaning and organization of our garage.

Our builder went a bit crazy on the garage. To say we have good storage space is an understatement. The garage has 4 bays for cars, a door to the patio, 2 large storage areas, plus a safe room/space if we have a really bad storm/tornado. All in the space is about 1500 square feet. Immense.

The work today will be exhausting, but I hope very successful. I am writing this before we begin. We shall see how it goes and what I write at the end of the day.

Here are the ‘Before’ pictures:

7:50PM- It is done.

My entire married life Michelle has teased me and given me a hard time for the way I organize a space. I learned it from my mom- take everything OUT of the space, throw it all about somewhere away from the space, then clean the empty space thoroughly, and finally, start to place the stuff back IN the cleaned space in an orderly and organized way. Michelle has always thought this was insane and added time and effort to the job. We have argued it many, many times, and Michelle always dismisses me as crazy for doing it my way.

Until today.

As we prepared for the task ahead I of course told her how I wanted it to go down. We would all work together to empty the ENTIRE garage of everything that is on or near the floor, dump it all into the driveway, clean the garage and spray for bugs, install the new shelving units I bought this morning, and then move everything back in. While doing the last part, separate out stuff for the dump and Goodwill.

She agreed and thought it was a good idea. Why? Was it the years of arguments, influence and her love for me and belief that I really do know best? Nope. It was a show called Mission: Organization on HGTV she recently watched. Seemed the organizational expert on the show said the best way to organize a space is….exactly the way I do it. But because some lady on TV said it, Michelle believes it now. So much for my influence.

Here are the after pictures:

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Annual Pool Set-Up

Today we completed our families annual tradition of setting up our above ground pool. We have often thought about installing a real pool on the grounds- we have plenty of space- but two concerns haunt us and keep us from taking the plunge- so to speak.

Gary Ashton- our realtor who helped us buy this house. He would comment all the time that homes that have pools installed don’t really add any value to the home for most prospective buyers. They either have small children and a pool is a safety issue, or they just don’t want the hassle, expense and frustration of owning a pool. You end up cutting your prospective buyer ‘pool’ considerably by owning one.
Second reason- we have small children, and the thought of something happening to them, or a neighbor (we really only have one neighbor, but they have small children too) in our pool is enough to keep us from doing it.

So a few years ago we went and bought an Intex above ground pool. Not like those huge Watson Girl pools you see on TV installed nicely behind a trailer home, no, just a nice simple easy to install pool about 16 feet in diameter, 4 foot high. Good enough to get wet in and cool off on those burning hot summer days.

Problem is that ended up getting a pool just big enough to give me all the hassles of pool ownership. Pumps, filters, chlorine/bromine tablets, ph treatment, acidity test strips, algae preventer, shock cleaning treatments, and more. Setting up the pool is the start of a bunch of fun times with Michelle and the kids, and also the start of my new part-time job as pool cleaner.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Time For A New Bank?

As a guy on payroll all of his adult life, I have often heard, but never really had to personally deal with, the biggest small business concern- cash flow.

As a new small business owner, I am now completely immersed in that world.

The clients with my new business are great, and the income is starting to roll in, but the cash flow thing is killing me- and my bank is no great help. My newest client, an internationally known and respected company sent my first check, due May 15th, on the 14th of the month. Good news so far. I deposited it in my business checking account with SunTrust and things still looked good.

Then on the 17th I got a call from the branch manager just to let me know that the check was on hold and the funds would be available sometime late the next week. I asked why. She said it was bank policy for new business accounts open under a year to hold larger checks over a certain amount until they were cleared and paid.

The following Monday, May 21st I received a form letter from SunTrust saying this particular check was on hold until May 23rd and the reason given was that there was reason to believe the check would not be paid. The form letter was from the fraud and loss prevention department.

The company that wrote me the check is a MASSIVE company. Huge. The form letter surprised me and I called by branch manager to find out what was going on. She told me not to worry about the letter, it was standard procedure, and the check was just being held until it was paid. She said the funds would be available on about the 23rd. They were- at 11:30PM. I know about the exact time because I was almost hourly checking my online balance from the 15th of May until 11:30PM on the 23rd. I sort of had bills I had to pay to live, you know.

On the morning of the 24th I called the branch manager again and asked her to transfer a large portion of the money to my personal account, and she did, but the funds didn’t show up in my account until late on the 25th.

So the check was in the hands of SunTrust on the morning of the 14th and I couldn’t access those funds until late on the 25th- 11 days. Does that seem reasonable? Not to me. I will be checking around at other banks.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Last Day Of School

Today is the last day of school for 3 out of our 4 DigitalRichCrew members. R’s pre-school graduation was yesterday, and K, L and A’s last day of 8th, 5th and 2nd grade is today.

Pre-school graduation was tough. Not on an emotional level… more on a pain endurance level. Mrs. N, the school’s director pulled out the same talking points, same music, same Erma Bombeck poem to read as she has the previous times our kids have ‘graduated.’ Par for the course for the school. Sometime in the late 1980’s they perfected the script for a full year of pre-school and like a tired Broadway play running for 10+ years, they have the same events, celebrations, speeches, music, memo’s and activities every year. This past year was our 8th year straight of having a child at the school, and our last. YAY!

As for our elementary and middle-schoolers (the school our 3 oldest attend is a combined elementary/middle school), they are preparing this morning for the regular routine as well. On the agenda for the day? Each is equipped with a disposable camera to catch memories of the last day and their friends. The annual last day of school food-fight is being planned by the trouble-makers and the word is getting out via text messaging to all the cell-phone equipped middle-schoolers. Various DVDs will be watched during classes while teachers rush to finish grading exams and finalizing grades. What a heady time.

When I think back over my years at school, or just my youth in general, I can’t think of too many things greater than the feeling in ones heart and soul that begins to bubble up around March, and then hits a roiling boiling point in late may. SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER!!! What an amazing feeling.

It takes much to reconnect with that old feeling. As parents, the feeling is now along the lines of OH NO!!! SCHOOL IS ALMOST OVER.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Unexpectedly Perfect

I have a Sony Mavica digital camera that shoots fairly decent photos, and then burns them right to a CD-R build into the camera. Plenty of storage, easy to use (pop the CD-R out of the camera, pop it straight into a computer- voila).

The only downside is the delay between pushing the button to take a picture, and the actual picture being taken. Many digital cameras have a bit of a delay. My Sony Mavica’s delay is ridiculous. When I took pictures of the girls playing snow-softball I had to push down the button when the snowball was still flying through the air half-way to the girls to get a chance of snapping them in mid-swing. To use my camera, one has to be able to see into the future to get the shot exactly right.

That’s what makes this next photo so amazing to me. On a recent trip to the ocean we stopped by Gulfarium (a cross between an aquarium and seedy carnival). I took this photo of a dolphin taking a fish out of the mouth of a trainer. I had to push the button down while the dolphin was still underwater on its way to make the jump.

I need a better/newer camera. For every one of these I get right, I take 100 wrong.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Smeared Light

Last night, driving home from yet another softball game for one of my girls, something very unusual happened. At least it was unusual for me. Never happened.

I drove through a…school? A flock? A pack..of lighting bugs. At 50MPH.

My windshield started presenting a brilliant display of luminescent green fireworks, bright flares of green soupy liquid light appearing with appropriate sound effects (Tink. Thump. Smack). Each little lightning bug ending his short life in a display of light fit for a DisneyWorld night-time parade.

It was mesmerizing. My windshield lit up and looked like a miniature deep black sky with little green stars spread all about. I stared and wondered at it. I then almost drove off the road. Do you remember the scene from Finding Nemo when Marlin and Dory are deep in the ocean and enchanted by the light from an Angler Fish? They are lured to a near-death experience.

That was me last night.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Do Not Read This Post

Please do not waste your time reading this post. It is nothing more than a space filler. A nod to my obsessive need for symmetry and completeness. My goal is to have a post for every day, no misses- every single day. This day was missed. So, I am writing this on the 27th of May and setting it to look like it was done on the 21st to make me feel better.

It is not the first time. It will not be the last time. I just hope you haven’t wasted any of your precious time is reading this drivel.

If you have, sorry. Have a great day anyway.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Picture and Story 1

Thought I would start something new here at DigitalRichDaily. Like most of what I write, it’s for me. If it’s interesting to you too, cool.

I see this blog as an amazing opportunity to journal stories, thoughts and events that my family will be able to reference for many years. What an amazing thing this is. How would the world be different if generations past had the same ability to document life in this way? While the prominent in society certainly did (published books, letters, etc), most did not.

The idea here is to publish a family photo and tell the back story. This first edition is a simple one. The picture is of A when she was younger, sitting in our empty living room in our old house. The home was the first we owned, and getting in the house took up about all the liquid wealth we had, leaving little for furnishings. The entire time we owned this house (1995-2003) the living room remained absolutely empty.

It was awesome.

The room became our playroom. Not the kind packed with plastic toys, dolls and assorted plastic things made in China. It was a serious playroom. An empty playroom. The kind you did somersaults in, where we stood handstands, hoolahooped, wrestled, fought tickle battles and played soccer with little plastic balls in. This room was the place we set up the Christmas tree, played indoor football, had sleepovers in. Nothing like this in our new home. I miss it.

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Saturday, May 19, 2007


I have been amazed at the types of wildlife that wander around our house. They’re just going about there normal business, and our family are the invaders. The interlopers. We have moved into their world.

Recently we added vultures to the list (see my post Death In The Front Yard), and now they are frequent visitors looking for another dead animal laying about. The girls were hitting softballs in the backyard today and a few stray softballs littering the field attracted a few curious vultures wondering what the very still, plump round white balls were. They came in pretty close to inspect them.

The list so far includes field mice, owls, woodpeckers, rabbits, moles, snakes, hawks, raccoons, possums, giant frogs, skunks, coyotes, deer, pheasants, bats, shrews, quail, turkey, goundhogs, crows, ferrel cats, and of course squirrels.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Punish Them All

I’m not sure if what we are experiencing here in my corner of the world is common, or just a local phenomenon, but it seems that public schools here have settled on a strategy to handle trouble-makers by penalizing everyone in sight.

A few recent examples:

- My 8 year old’s class lost recess because one punk kid was talking too much in class.

- Same daughter had a recent fun-day during PE trashed by the teacher because two boys were acting up. They spent the entire period walking laps around the gym in silence.

- 8th grade 2-day trip to Six Flags was canceled because someone vandalized the charter bus the night before the trip.

It goes on and on. Seems our teachers here have all got together and decided on this new strategy thinking somehow that peer-pressure, social responsibility, team dynamics and other high-minded ideals will somehow compel young kids to hold each other accountable for the common good and suddenly respond to these tactics by materializing good behavior and respect for teachers and each other.

This is insane. While the majority of kids are growing up in homes where good behavior is required and respect for teachers and other authority figures are taught, there are some that are growing up in horrible home enviroments and are crying out for help and attention. The teachers stupid tactics will do nothing to address the root problem.

I have an idea. Recently in our county (like last week) a teacher was arrested for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. How might we respond? Seems like the silly police department and justice system wants to come down hard on just this one teacher.

Why not really make a statement? Let’s penalize ALL teachers in our county by rolling-back any raises they got in the last couple years, freezing pay raises through 2010 and making them come to school throughout this upcoming summer?

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

DigitalRich and the Munich Symphony Orchestra

One of my best friends growing up was a gent named Achim Gross. His father worked for the West German government, and was stationed at the West German Embassy in Washington D.C. We hung out together and with our mutual friend Tim Hazen constantly.

As my 18th birthday approached in March of 1984, I learned an important lesson in that senior year at High School. Foreign embassies are truly sovereign soil and not subject to the laws of the United States. This was very important to me, especially when I was able to go on the embassy grounds and have a beer at 17 years of age without any trouble.

Why am I remembering all this now and writing about it on DigitalRichDaily? I’ll tell you. Yesterday I had lunch with a record company president and we rode together in his Audi Quattro. As soon as I saw the car, the memory of Achim and 1984 flooded my mind.

That fall Achim got Tim and me an awesome job. $500 a day kind of awesome. Audi was sponsoring the Munich Symphony Orchestra’s US Tour, and Audi contacted the West German embassy for help while the orchestra was in the states. They asked if the embassy could round up volunteers to drive the members of the orchestra around town during their stops in NYC, DC, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, LA and a few other major cities. Audi would provide a fleet of brand new cars at each city for the volunteers to use while whisking the members about town to lunches, shopping, and then the big show in the evening.

Achim’s dad was put in charge of the DC duty, and Achim volunteered Tim and I. The coolest part was that Achim’s dad made special arrangements for us three to keep the cars 24/7 during the multi-day stay the orchestra was making in the nation’s capital. So, we were all able to drive our sporty new 1985 (yes- fresh next year models) Audi Quattro’s about town. I went to pick up mine, and headed home. The next morning I got up and headed to class (Montgomery College freshman) excited to show-off my awesome ride. I had time to get through all my morning classes, and then to the Four Seasons Hotel to pick up my assigned orchestra members. It was a bit rainy, but not too cool. I reasoned that I could probably drive with the sun roof open once I hit enough speed and the rain stopped pouring in the car.

Got to class on time, wrapped up my morning, and jumped in the car to head to DC. There was a group of students nearby and they posed the perfect opportunity to gun the engine and show off the Audi. I slipped the engine into gear, gunned the accelerator, and popped effortlessly into second and then third gear as I whipped out of the parking lot and along the winding tree lined college drive. Then something not good happened. I started skidding.

I slid to the left, I overcorrected to the right, and shot right off the road, bounded down a hill, and slammed hard into two massive trees. Not one, but two. Its as if God himself arranged for those two trees to grow exactly in their place so as to mature to have a space in between them exactly 3 feet narrower than the front-end of a 1985 Audi Quattro. With a massive tree embedded into the front of the Audi- one on each front quarter panel- the engine struggled, hissed, and then cut-off. I had to roll down the window of the car to get out as both front doors were jammed shut. I was devastated. And very worried that a large mean giant German man was going to kill me.

I called Achim and he picked me up. We drove to his dad’s office and I broke the news to him. It was not a fun conversation at all. He started screaming at me in German, and then finally explained that I was to go to Audi’s DC offices and tell the executive in charge of the tour what I did. The Audi exec threatened to make me pay for the car, but calmed down after he reminded himself that he was not authorized to let us use the cars personally, but had granted Achim’s father’s request to allow us to use them. He asked me where the car had been towed to (I told him it was still stuck between two trees at the college), and then asked me to leave and to make sure he never saw my face again.

Great memories.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Running Man…and woman…and girl…

My daughter K will by trying out for her high school volleyball team next week. As part of the tryout she needs to be able to run a mile in 7 minutes and 30 seconds. So we are in training.

Michelle and I decided to get up with K at 6:40AM each morning and run a couple miles around our land. Fortunately our land is flat and smooth enough to run on, although the dew in the morning is actually causing pools of water inside our shoes by the time we finish.

Oh..did I say run a couple of miles? Well..more like a mile. Actually, we’ve ended up walking half a mile, and running the other half. But were getting there.

This morning we did the mile in just under 11 minutes. Yikes.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Carnival of The Storytellers 9th Edition

I have noticed that The Carnival of the Storytellers is like most blog carnivals- you have good editions, and not-so-good editions.

The difference is simply the balance of posts being compelling and interesting versus just ok. This edition I am placing in the 'better than average' column.

Of the 17 posts submitted for this edition, I only chose 9 to include.

Of those 9, I would say 3 rank as very good.

I have chosen my three- would be interested to know your three favorites as well. Enjoy.


Yes! This post is brilliant! Though I do not agree with all that Jon and his terrible mother espouse (you can pick those things up while wading through the sarcastic humor), Jon certainly did a wonderful job of praising his mother in a very creative and fun way. Bravo. Jon Swift presents My Mother Is a Terrible Person posted at Jon Swift, saying, "I know Mother's Day is usually a time when one says nice things about one's mother, but I must be honest: My mother is a terrible person."

Amanda Rose wrote a wonderful post about drive and purpose, and the roles they play in our mental health. That dime-store analysis is totally mine, and I am most certainly not certified or credentialed to publish that sort of analysis treading onto the sacred ground of proper therapists. I do, however, own this blog and carnival, so there. Amanda presents Rugged Mountain Woman, Back from Hiatus posted at Rebuild from Depression Blog.

OK- this is amazing. I love blogs about real-life, but it is hard to write these types of blogs and make them interesting on a regular basis. Truth is, not enough interesting things happen in life to sustain a daily blog. Most lives anyway. Once in a while, from out of the blue (literally in this case), life throws us something truly interesting. Stephanie certainly had an interesting event occur that altered the events of her day, and her dinner plans. Check out Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood: CRASH! posted at Adventures in the 100 Acre Wood.

Although this post certainly fits in the "Real Life" category the author submitted it in, after reading I decided to place it in the Mystery category. It truly is a mystery. And a fun read- a glimpse into a room far more revealing and private than the bedroom- the family kitchen. TherapyDoc presents Going Home, Part One posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, "Going home to the 'rents is a set up for certain disasters."

Elvis is back! And made it in through the creative use of words that aren't quite profane, but allude to the profane. Well done Elvis D. He presents The Quiet Bar posted at 365fiction, an interesting short tale about an intriguing and beautiful woman just back from her husband's funeral.

A touching story of a man that seeks to bless all those around him. Inside his heart is obviously heavy for those around them- asking God to bless and care for strangers on the tube in London. It reminds me of a wonderful quote from C.S. Lewis commenting on those that impact earth and those on it by focusing on Heaven and higher things: "If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next. The Apostles themselves, who set on foot the conversion of the Roman Empire, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English Evangelicals who abolished the Slave Trade, all left their mark on Earth, precisely because their minds were occupied with Heaven. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth "thrown in": aim at earth and you will get neither. Damian (EnglishBard) presents The holy man on the train. posted at be the change - tread the path.

This past Sunday our pastor wrapped up a series on tough questions. The last question was 'Why Does God Allow Bad Things To Happen?' I won't go into the details of the great message, but it came to mind right away after reading Patricia's Make the Most of Every Moment: Lessons from the Terminal Illness That Wasn't posted at Patricia.

A brief post meant to inspire during the depths of tedium, practice and preparation. Dianne M. Buxton presents Persisting Through Tedium to Success posted at manifestingsuccess.

Struggled with how to categorize this post. It's not actually a story, and certainly not a fantasy. It's more of an observation of fantasy and adventure stories and the idea hero and companion/sidekick. A fairly interesting read. I would put this one on the "if I have a bit more time to read another post" list. Vijayendra Mohanty presents The sword and horse package posted at M Y P A J A M A . C O M, saying, "An essay on one of the most done-to-death storybook motifs."


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