Monday, June 30, 2008


Tonight for dinner- flank steak on the grill. Prepared with margarita in hand, while watching a flock of turkey, baby turkeys in tow, cross the backyard.

Side dishes? Wild rice, rolls and corn (for the purpose of this story I was just going to say corn, but Michelle complained that people would think we just ate steak and corn for dinner, and what kind of wife/mother/cook would serve just corn with steak???).

Every time we have corn, without fail, R leaves the table after she finishes eating to carefully install two pieces of corn-caps on her two front teeth.

This corn will stay in her mouth for a good amount of time, sometimes a half hour after dinner is over.

She thinks its hilarious. We think its kind of cute, but just a bit gross too.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bug Sounds And Bats

Today was a wonderfully pleasant day.

It started out a bit off-center for me as my suggestion to have our Sunday school class start a Nooma film and discussion series was met with approval from our two class leaders. They liked the idea and asked me to lead it. Today was the first day- we watched Rain 001 and chatted about the film and its message for more than an hour.

After church we headed to Sportsmans Grill for lunch and then home for some time in the pool. I cleaned all the charred grass from my mower and then pressure washed a few things before taking a dip.

After several hours we decided to grill some bratwurst for dinner and eat outside. As we wrapped up dinner and the sun was setting, our nearby bat colony came out for dinner. Sometimes we can see 10 or more swooping through the air eating bugs. We love them since they keep the mosquito population near zero even though we have a creek on one side of our property, and a river back behind us.

Our 6 year old R asked an interesting question as we let dinner settle and watched the bats. “If we make a sound like a bug, will the bats come and bite us?”

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Can We Drill Ourselves Out Of This Problem?

70 miles from picturesque Key West, Florida, China is actively exploring oil fields and pumping “American oil” right from our backyard.

And so is Canada.

U.S. companies are barred from working in this area because of Democrats. Furthermore, they are preventing us from drilling in remote and human-less arctic Alaska... and of course we can't build any new refineries or nuclear plants.

If I hear one more goofy politician or pundit say "We can’t drill ourselves out of this problem” one more time I think I'm going to have blood spurt from my eyeballs.

Pardon me… we have global demand exceeding supply and driving oil and gas prices up, and we can’t drill for more oil that our nation owns and doesn’t have to import, and that wont help the problem?

Saying we can't drill ourselves out of this problem sounds about as stupid to me as if someone said “We know you have several small painful cuts and scrapes on your body, but you cant just put a Band-Aid on the problem.”

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fire Onboard

There is a feeling of real panic when the grass on your mower catches fire 500 feet from your house and you have no expendable liquid nearby to quench the flames. Even my bladder was empty.

It happened again. It was just over 5 years ago that I nearly burned up my “neighborhood” when dry grass touched my mower engine and caught fire. This morning, it was slightly different. The dry grass was packed tight into the mower deck, and the friction from the rubber belt and metal pulleys started the fire.

I smelled it first- that crisp burning “something’s not right” smell. I pulled over, got off the mower, and saw smoke start pouring from the mower deck. I did the only thing I could think to do- I grabbed the burning grass with my bare hands and pulled it out. Miraculously I wasn’t burned or hurt at all.

I took of my flip-flop and smacked down the flames, as well as smothered the smoldering grass in the mower deck.

Disaster averted. Lesson learned. Again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yes, You Can Make A Horse Drink

There’s an old saying that I always assumed was true: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him (or her) drink. I found out its not true at all. You can make them drink by taking them on another hot trail ride right away.

About a week ago I took L (my now 13 year old daughter that just celebrated her birthday a few weeks ago) and my visiting mother-in-law horseback riding. We headed out to Creekside Riding Academy in Franklin, TN, and plopped down $120.00 for the three of us to go on a “trail ride.”

As our trail guide Anna brought me my horse (Cinnamon) she proudly announced that Kellie Pickle had just ridden Cinnamon the day before. I told her that while I had no idea who Kellie Pickle is, I appreciated her telling me that.

Anna confirmed in her mind I was an idiot city-dweller with no sense of pride in Tennessee and its country music heritage.

Off we went on the “trail ride” which really was nothing more than a 200 yard path along the side of a creek, just inside the tree line, that we re-traced back and forth 4 times. There’s no way horseback riding like this could beat the current gas prices. We paid $120 to go about ½ mile total distance.

At the end of the ride, what coolness there was from the morning turned into blazing heat. Anna instructed us to dismount and walk our horses over to the watering bucket. L’s horse just stood there. He wouldn’t bend his head down or take a drink.

Anna told us not to worry- he was about to go on another trail ride and would soon regret (as much as horses are able to feel regret) not taking a drink. He would surely hustle to the water hole on the way back to the barn after the next ride.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Memorial Day Olympics

On Memorial Day we went a step further than your ordinary backyard barbeque.

We invited family and friends over for a feast including hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken satay, Italian sausage, and all the trimmings, followed by some vigorous exercise to work off the massive carbohydrate, protein and fat intake.

The exercise? Backyard Olympics. I warned everyone ahead of time, and all said they were eager to join in. But when the appointed time arrived the complaints poured in. Evidently everyone ate too much and wanted to just sit down and get lazy. I insisted, and bullied everyone outside to start the games.

We had a total of 16 people, making 3 teams of 5 work quite well (the sixteenth player was my 2 year old nephew... he was kind of a floater, playing, or not playing, as the mood struck him, for any team he happened to be near.

The scoreboard was laid out meticulously, and the teams predetermined (and vetted by my wife and kids) to ensure skills, abilities, and the lack thereof, were spread evenly amongst the teams.

Of course I was somehow able to make sure Mike (my sister-in-law’s boyfriend), a police officer and former 101st Airborne member, was on my team. Funny how that worked out.

We won.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Final Update: Announced Shoplifting

I got a note from Wings. They received my check for $60.00, along with a print out of both my original post on this issue, and the follow up post shortly after.

They have destroyed the check and told me I deserved to get the items for free considering the horrible customer service I received.

Do I feel better for taking the items without paying? Not exactly... but maybe a bit.